Watching One Born Every Minute is (probably) like childbirth itself - horrifying yet worth it
The new series of Channel 4's hit maternity documentary is worth the agony for viewers...
I've never had a baby, and for 92 per cent of a One Born Every Minute episode I vow that I never, ever will. Those screams. Those looks of pure horror. The head emerging. All that pushing. All those tears. That metal equipment.
The cries of "I don't want any more children!" from one mother-to-be in series one haunted me for days. "I don't want to see any more children being born!," I shrieked at exactly the same time.
The fly-on-the-wall documentary, back for its eighth series, is not for the faint-hearted and over the past few years I've often had to dash out for another cup of tea at the most dramatic moments.
Sometimes, as things have reach peak-squeamishness, I've wondered why I'm putting myself through this when I don't even get a cute, smiley baby at the end of it all.
But just as childbirth is (or so my mother tells me) something you rarely regret having gone through, watching One Born Every Minute is definitely worth it. Sure, you might not be helping to keep the human race in existence or bringing a new life into your home, but you do feel overwhelmed and joyful at the end (I've usually had a couple of glasses of wine by then).
And it's to Liverpool Women's Hospital for the new series, home to the largest maternity unit in Europe. There are just as many fascinating couples, with varied and often surprising stories to tell.
In the first episode there's Brooke and Tim, both 23, who are having their second child, and Courtney, 16, who is birthing partner for her mum Tara, predicts that what she'll see might scar her for life...
So while the first part of tonight's episode will have me swearing off children forever, by the time that red-faced, screaming creature is born, I'll have forgotten the pain and be cooing at the sprog in a state of total delirium.