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16 October 2014

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Top Banana

By Nicola Jones
November 2004, Newbridge
A digital story from Capture Wales

Nobody knew I was carrying a baby

Nicola hadn't realised she was even pregnant until she gave birth to a baby boy all alone in her flat.

"It is 1am on October the 31st 1990. I leave work feeling completely ghastly. I drive home and start to shiver. I am totally out of control. Some five or maybe six hours later I give birth to a baby boy. I am in my flat and all alone, he is alive and well and perfectly formed.

I have not shared my pregnancy with anyone. I have put it at the back of my mind praying in vain it will go away.

As the hours drift past I feel resignation weighing heavy in my heart. Day moves into night and I look into the eyes of my son. He is not just my son, he has a dad and I have to show him this special boy. I make a decision. I can't hide things any longer. I have to take responsibility. This baby is real, he's here to stay.

I wrap him up and drive the short distance to where his dad lives. I walk through the kitchen door holding my precious bundle in my arms. What can I say? I just have to tell the truth. I blurt out, "I've had a baby".

Two midwives and an ambulance crew turn up. They examine our boy, and he weighs in a healthy 7lbs 14oz. Off to hospital we go.

A complete bloody circus follows - visitors, presents, laughing, crying, tears of total disbelief. I am utterly overwhelmed. As I sit on the bed holding my baby I am full of happiness, pride and total fear. How the hell am I going to cope with all of this?

We name him Robert, a midwife carries him out of hospital. In my arms a five foot teddy bear, a full size rugby ball and half the contents of Mothercare.

Robert is now 14 and every birthday we celebrate Halloween with a full on party. We all sing happy birthday with gusto. I look at my son, he's tall and proud, it's all OK. He's a top banana."

Nicola Jones

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I live in Newbridge, Gwent. I am a police officer who works locally. In my spare time I enjoy meeting my family and friends and drinking coffee during which I like to put the world to rights.

What's your story about?
My son Robert and how he was nearly born on the beat.

Why did you choose to tell this particular story?
It was a story that I felt that I needed to tell - it was my difficult story.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
The strength of character of my fellow storytellers. The support and encouragement of the staff. It has been a unique experience that I will treasure - just like my story!

Your comments

"I thought this story was terrific. I can relate to the feelings of joy, uncertainty, pride and fear as a Mother. I liked that the conclusion focused on the fact that the boy had grown up and he was healthy and happy. What happened between birth and 14 is irrelevant to the story, what matters is that he is doing good." Jenn Kranenburg, Chatham Canada.

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