IT HAD been a bad week. First I got a bladder infection and then the dog chewed my reading glasses. This was followed up by an ear infection which necessitated even more antibiotics. I was down about €200 and did I get sympathy when the girls came over for coffee? Did I feck.
"Must be great not being able to hear yourself," chortled Patsy.
Even worse, I could still hear her, which isn't hard considering she has a voice like a cawing crow.
The news had just come through that Kate Middleton's womb had been colonised by the House of Windsor and Patsy was wittering on about it as if she was about to give birth to the child herself.
"I can't wait to see Kate's maternity style," she went on. "I'm sure she will be stunning."
She caught me rolling my eyes. "Well, it can't be any worse than some of the stuff you used to wear.
"Do you remember that multi-coloured patchwork dress with the Peter Pan collar you had?
"You looked like a cross between a hot-air balloon and Andy Pandy." I couldn't argue with that.
"I bet she won't go for an epidural. I know if it was me, I would choose to have it au naturel," she sighed dramatically -- this from a woman who takes to the bed if she so much as bangs her big toe.
I did choose an epidural. I also booked gas, a Tens machine and anything else I could get my hands on.
Confident I wouldn't feel a thing, I went to bed the night before I was due and slept like the dead until 1.40am, when I awoke in acute pain. I got hubby to drive me to the hospital at speed. We got there at 2.10am.
The nurse told me to get on the table so she could check me to see if I was in labour. "OF COURSE I'M IN LABOUR!" I screamed, as I tried to throw my leg over.
In the end, my husband had to haul me up before dropping me on the table like a sack of spuds.
The nurse gave me a quick check, turned ashen then whisked me into the delivery ward.
"I WANT MY EFFING EPIDURAL," I roared.
The midwife arrived, had a look between my legs and then popped up to say, "It's a boy Mrs Carberry." I nearly passed out with shock. It was 2.21am.
"I remember going in to see you. You looked like The Wreck of the Hesperus," said Patsy.
I didn't answer. "I SAID YOU ... "
I put my finger in my good ear. The silence was bliss ...