My beautiful daughter is asleep in her moses basket in front of me so I've decided to take the time to write my birth story! It all started on my due date on 14/12/11, I was feeling crampy for a few days but on this particular day I woke up at 10am with period-like pains and backache. I went back to sleep and woke up again at 11am with the pains still there. I called my mum to tell her I think I'm having contractions, my parents were picking me up this day to take me to my midwife appointment at 2.15pm so they said they'll just see me in a few hours. I called my mum again at 12pm because when I went to the toilet I saw a pink jelly-like discharge in my knickers and I knew straight away this was some of my plug. Me and OH got picked up by them and went to my midwife appointment where I told her what was happening, she said she could tell I was having contractions because Grace was moving down whenever I had a pain. She offered me a sweep and I accepted, It was a little uncomfortable but I'm glad I did it. My midwife then told me that I was 2cm dilated I couldn't believe it and neither could my mum (who was smiling massively when I told her). That day I stayed in my parents house hoping I was going to give birth on my due date but despite walking up and down the stairs several times and even walking around my parents neighbourhood in just my dressing gown it wasn't meant to be and so I decided to go back home with my OH. My parents didn't want me to go back in case something happened in the night but I was sure nothing was going to happen as my contractions became more irregular. But BOY was I wrong! ... Contractions stopped when we got home so we just had some chips from the takeaway and sat around doing our usual thing. I wasn't going to but I decided I should go for a bath, so I did and then just chilled out with my OH. I think the bath helped because the contractions then started coming on more often and stronger. We were still awake at 2am and I was still having contractions, so I went upstairs for a wee and after my urine came out, I felt a trickle of water come out! This happened again just before 3am (when we were about to go to bed) so I started to get a bit panicky and told my OH I need to ring the labour ward NOW! So I picked up the phone and told them what had happened, I spoke to a lovely Irish midwife on the phone and she said she wants me to come in at 7am because my contractions aren't that regular right now. I rang my mum (feeling terribly guilty for waking her up) and told her I need to go into hospital at 7am. I put a pad on and then me and OH went to bed. We got up at 6am to get ready to leave, so I only had 3 hours sleep! My parents picked us up and we sped to the hospital which was 30 mins away. It was 7.45am when we got to labour ward and a big group of midwives were gathered around smiling at my arrival (they were expecting me) and I remember them saying to me, "Aren't you cold being in just that dressing gown?!" It was a lovely welcome. I got put into delivery suite 1 (the best one!) it was brilliant and I even had my own bathroom with a huge round bath. My lovely Irish midwife examined me and said my waters have definitely leaked and that I'm 4cm dilated I got up and started walking around my room to bring the contractions on quicker (which really worked). It was about 11am when I asked for some more pain-killers as I felt I couldn't cope with the pain on just gas and air. The midwife offered me a diamorphine shot and I happily accepted, so I got examined again and was told I was 8cm! However, because I was so advanced, the diamorphine shot was now out of the question. So after 11am I was still on gas and air, my waters were still trickling and my contractions were very intense. My mum and my OH Daniel were comforting me the whole time, Daniel gave me back rubs sometimes and they both encouraged me to get into comfier positions, I don't know what I would have done without them! I had a little bit of toast that my midwife got me because I hadn't ate since the night before and I only had 3 hours sleep so I needed all the energy I could get! I was just over 2 hours in established labour (which is very quick apparently - especially for a first time mum). I was getting really bad pressure pains and the urge to poo (honestly this was the worst bit about the whole labour). My midwife told me to get on my feet and lean over the bed, this was a comfy position but because I was tired I really couldn't be bothered moving, but I did and I'm glad I did because this helped bring on the pressure pain more. I felt like I needed to poo urgently, it wasn't a pain it was more or less a 'pushing' sensation, which was obviously Grace's head coming down. My midwife told me to just go with it so whilst still leaning over the bed, with my midwife looking at my vagina/bum, I just let myself relax and Grace's head slowly come down, it was extremely intense and I could even feel myself opening up. The last contraction got so intense that I told my midwife I feel like I really need to push now, so she got me on the bed quickly and then all of a sudden the other midwife comes in and I'm pushing to get my daughter out! With a good few pushes, I could feel her getting closer and I could even see her head in the television reflection My OH was on one side holding my hand, my mum was on the other side holding my other hand. Grace's heartbeat started dropping when I was pushing because I don't think I was pushing for long enough, so I had loads of monitors strapped around me quickly and I got so worried she wasn't going to make it, my heart sunk. I continued to push but her head just wasn't coming out so they said they might have to cut me if we can't get her out in the next pushes. Hearing that really encouraged me to push for my life so that's exactly what I did and then my baby girls head was born, she started crying a little bit and making gargling noises and then her body was born. This wasn't painful at all to be honest and the crowning wasn't painful either (which is weird considering she has a big head! Lol). Daniel and my mum saw her coming out and Daniel even cut the cord he was practically crying and so was my mum, I was almost crying too and then Grace was put on my chest for skin to skin, she was just looking up at me and it was the most amazing experience ever, I'm crying just now writing about it! I then had the needle to deliver the placenta and asked my midwife if I could see it, she showed it to me and described each bit, it was amazing! I got examined and was told I just had a graze (I was so happy hearing this) but after taking a closer look they realised I had two small cuts either side so I had one of them stitched up and the other one is left to heal. So my beautiful daughter came into the world, changing our lives forever at 1.18pm weighing 7lbs 3oz with a full head of dark hair. I had a nice bath and tea and toast after having her too My midwife was brilliant, she was so lovely and supportive/helpful. Daniel and my mum were amazing, I'm so glad they were both there. I'm very proud of myself too, especially when I have such a low pain threshold. All in all it was an amazing, positive experience. I'm recovering well although it does sting when I pee My breasts are also really painful and swollen at the moment too, I think I'd rather go through childbirth again than feel like this! Grace is perfect but it is very hard being parents, I'm looking forward to the future with my little family and I couldn't ask for more happiness. I've got these two people that I love very much in my life, I'm extremely lucky I wish all you pregnant girls the best and I advise you to stay upright when you're in labour as it really helps to speed things up, I didn't want to move from the bed because I was so tired but I'm very glad I did now. Just go with your body's and enjoy the experience, it is without a doubt amazing.