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The events surrounding the expectations and experiences of a hospitalised childbirth in Northern Portugal are presented as an auto-ethnography, written in 2004, in the format of a diary and commented upon with hindsight by the author. The original motivation for writing the diary was to re-gain a degree of power over the birth process which, even before going into labour, the author felt she had already lost in comparison to her previous experiences of homebirth abroad. The diary elucidates howdoi:10.4000/etnografica.6077 fatcat:frctykcptja2vivghfqhgdoa34