'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse".
Many of us will have read Clement Clarke Moore's poem to excited children, on Christmas Eve.
They know they must go to bed to fall properly asleep but they dare not miss a single thing, especially a glimpse of Father Christmas himself!
Stockings are hung on the fireguard, mince pie, milk and a carrot for Rudolph, everything is ready but they have to be asleep before the magic happens.
Twas the night before Christmas that my son was born.
Twas the day before that when the first pangs of labour began.
It was not the easiest of births as he lay in a frank breech position, his tiny feet touched his mouth, his head using my stomach as a pillow. He was reluctant to leave this comfortable place.
I was so young and very scared. Terrified.
The midwives came and went and so did my awareness as the gas and air dipped me into a twilight sleep.
The Sugar Plum Fairy came to see how the labour was progressing.
A host of angels with golden wings hovered.
My Mum arrived.
"Mum, I can see angels and the Sugar Plum Fairy, am I dying?".....
Mum explained that all the midwives and doctors had dressed up as it was almost Christmas Day and No, I was not dying.
They all began to sing "Silent Night" and to this day I cannot help but cry when I remember them singing.......it was the most beautiful entrance that a Christmas child could have.
He was born by section just before midnight.
On Christmas Day, once I had sort of come to after the anasthetic, the nurse brough me my tiny bundle.
I could not believe that the child who rested heavily in my womb for all those months, who kicked and moved and who shared his very soul with mine, was now in my arms.
He had wisps of blond hair and fat golden eyelashes. He grasped my finger with his tiny hand.
He is 28 today.
The magic of the night he was born has never diminished. The powerful love which hit like a punch, has never disappeared, only grown.
I write this for Mothers everywhere, who know and understand and share this feeling. Those of us who have laboured and have loved.
The only thing I will ask you, son, is if you would read 'The Night Before Christmas' for your younger brother and sister tonight?
You see, I have such a job seeing past the first two lines. My eyes blur and my voice is stolen from my mouth but I really want them to share the magic too.
I'm sure you understand.....