THE ordeal of birth, like trying to find a taxi in Mid-Levels on a wet Monday morning, is something we have all been through. Few of us remember much about it. Lucky we are then that in a rather perverse celebration of Mother's Day, Pearl is showing film of eight women giving birth in a variety of circumstances; naturally, in water, lying down and standing up. Birth (10.30pm) contains explicit footage of childbirth, much of which will be edited by Pearl's guardians of our morals, and comes highly recommended by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. ''The photography is outstanding,'' says a college spokesman. ''It will give mothers an excellent idea of the wonderful experience of Birth'' (their capitals). He, or she, might have added: ''This one will run and run.'' Birth was filmed by Nancy Durrell McKenna and includes commentaries by mothers, partners, midwives and obstetricians. McKenna, an award-winning photographer, set out to capture the moment while being as unobtrusive as a woman can be with a large television camera strapped to her shoulder. The final word should go to the television critic from the Royal College of Midwives. ''Birth can be an intense and rewarding experience. This beautifully filmed video shows a variety of examples. A midwife's guidance will assist women to consider the different approaches.'' FOR those of you who subscribe to Churchill's view that all babies look the same, Babywatching (Pearl, 9.30pm) might prove enlightening. This documentary, based on Desmond Morris' best-selling book of the same name, is also showing as part of Pearl's Mother's Day celebrations. Babywatching is introduced and narrated by Morris. It examines the physical condition of the newborn infant, baby psychology, anthropological issues and the bonding and interaction that an infant experiences within the family. The programme does not solve the mystery of why all babies pull the plug out of the video recorder when you have set it to record an important football match. ARSENAL take on Parma in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the European Cup Winners' Cup Final 1994 (Pearl, 2am). In an effort to keep fans awake until the wee hours Pearl has padded out the schedules with Thirty Years of the Porsche (1am), a programme aimed fairly and squarely at men who have got nothing better to do than stay up until 2am watching football. IN Eye to Eye With Connie Chung (Pearl, 8.30am) Bernard Goldberg reports on efforts in the US to combat crime not by caning the perpetrators, but by sending them to boot camps. President Clinton likes the idea, but it will cost US$3 billion, a pill some members of Congress might find too bitter. The President is on CNN early this morning in Global Forum With President Clinton (7am). By the time you read this he may have been and gone for a haircut. Mr Clinton will be talking to leading journalists about democracy, security in Europe, the crisis in Bosnia, nuclear weapons and peace in the Middle East. The forum is being broadcast live from Atlanta to more than 140 million households in 200 countries and territories around the world. IT is difficult to escape the feeling that thirtysomething (World, 1.05am), with its irritating lower case letters, is a series of the past. Like sex, lies and videotape it looks uncomfortable in the pragmatic 90s. Caring, sharing and seeing an analyst was fine until we realised it didn't do any good. Melissa (Melanie Mayron) is trying to deal with the mystery of men. Encounters with previous boyfriends force her to review her relationships and to speculate on whether the future will hold anything better. STAR TV's new Music Channel is underway, a replacement for MTV. VJ Shadow has the early shift during the week in Jump Start (7.00am). David Wu takes over at 9am with 3 From 3 and Danny McGill presents classic videos in Rewind at 10am. ''Sultry and mysterious'' VJ Sophiya - who lives in sultry and mysterious Discovery Bay - hosts Frame By Frame, two hours of contemporary music and entertainment news, at 11am.