Well as Charlie arrived on 22.01.12 I thought it was about time to do my birth story. Cant believe where the time as gone. Well my due date came and went and as time went on I was feeling more dishartened that nothing was happening, no cramps, twinges etc. At 40+3 I had a sweep where the midwife commented how low the baby was and that the sweep should get things moving however it didnt. At 40+5 I went for an accupuncture session as it was recommended to me as a way of inducing natural labour however 24 hours later there was still no sign of me going into labour and I started resigning myself to the fact that I may have to be induced which is something that I didnt want. On Saturday 21st January I noticed that I was loosing more of my plug, however this had been happening for the past week although on this day the mucus was mixed with a bit of blood. I spent the day bouncing on my ball and took the dogs for a walk and on the evening I felt really uncomfortable and a little crampy like period pains. I went to bed at around 10pm and found that I was bleeding bright red blood. I put a pad on and monitored it and at around 12am I was still bleeding so rang triage who advised me to go in to get checked. We got to the hospital at 1am and I was put on the monitor for a while and then examined. The doctor told me that the bleeding was just a heavy show and that I was only 1 - 2cm dilated and not in labour. He gave me another sweep in the hope that it might get things moving. Although the doctor was happy with the bleeding my blood pressure was high so I was told that they wanted to keep me in overnight and if it stabilised I could go home in the morning. I was taken to the ward around 2am and my OH was sent home. By this point the cramps were getting stronger so I was given 2 painkillers and told to get some sleep. During the night the pain became unbearable and was coming in waves every 2 - 3 minutes and lasting for around 30 m- 45 seconds. As I was told only hours earlier I wasnt in labour I didnt think that they could be contractions and therefore I just tried to cope with the pain the best I could through breathing and visualisation techniques I had learned through hypnobirthing. During the night I went walking round the corridors and had a bath neither of which eased the pain. When the day staff came on at 8am I begged for stronger pain relief and a midwife agreed to examine me. At this point she found that I was 6cm dilated and in established labour and was told to ring my OH to get him to come in. I was also moved to a delivery room and offered gas and air which was heaven and really eased the intensity of the pain. I asked for an epidural as I couldnt bear to be in any more pain and this was arranged immediately. Once the epidural kicked in the pain totally eased and during the next 6 hours I dilated fully, pretty much pain free. My epidural was topped up before I started pushing and although I could still feel the contactions and knew when to push the pain was bearable and no where near as bad as I imagined it would be. I pushed for 1.5 hours however the baby was stuck and no matter how hard I pushed I was unable to move him any further down. By this time I was getting really tired and the decision was made that I needed assistance in getting the baby out. My consultant was called and told me that he was going to use ventouse. It was uncomfortable while the ventouse was put around the babys head and I remember it feeling really uncomfortable but painless due to the epidural. On the next contraction I was told to push and i could feel the pressure as the doctor tried to pull the baby out. As the head came out a felt a sharp burning / stinging sensation which immediatly went away once the head was out. The next contraction seemed to take forever to come however once it did my baby was born and placed immediately onto me. I was told that I had a small tear which needed stiches but I hardly felt being stiched up as I was too busy cuddling Charlie who weighed in at 7lbs 7oz. All in all labour was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be and looking back I actually enjoyed the experience as its just so worth it once your baby is in your arms. Its only been 2.5 weeks but I feel fully recovered from it all and would definately do it all again without hesistation!!!