I think everyone gets like that with their first-born child. But they say it gets easier after a while.


Bagni di Lucca and Beyond

40 years ago today, 31st May 1973, my son Brando was born in the delightful southern Italian town of Sorrento.

I was 20 years old and found myself in the terrifying position of being in a hospital, where I understood just about nothing, and about to give birth to my first ( and only ) child. It is the terror I remember more than anything else.

He was born late at night after a 12 hour labour where I was offered no pain relief and left by myself for much of the time.  I went to sleep soon after the birth after having discovered I had a son and that everything was where it should be.

I awoke the next morning to find a line of people staring at me…that funny foreign girl…from the door to my room. I was apparently called the Diabolical One, because I had predicted that…

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