OK here is ruben's birth story as promised. i went into labour spontaneously on monday morning. the pains were not that bad to start off with, and i was even MSNing people, but they intensified over the course of the day. my friend came round for coffee in the afternoon, and i was coping just fine. rang the MW later in the night when contractions intensified, only 1 cm dilated, but i was still positive. i kept on labouring, put my tens machine on and got on with it. keeping track of time was not my main concern, but at about 3am (i think) i called the MW again as it had been quite bad and contractions every 3-4 minutes for over 3 hours. still only 2 cms.... she left again, i carried on. at about 6.30 in the morning i completely lost control as the pains were so strong. i decided i needed pain relief and after speaking to the MW i decided to go into hospital. phoned my friend at about 7am and arrived in hospital just before 8am. i was no further along... only 2-3 cms. they couldn't really offer much in terms of pain medication as i was still not in active labour! i was moved from room to room, as they thought i should go home really. but i insisted on staying in as we don't have a car, and was in so much pain as baby had decided to move back to back. i was exhausted and crying like mad. they eventually found me a home from home room, and i stayed there until about 7pm when i was screaming for an epidural. was examined and still only 3 cm dilated (yay after 36 hours of pain i was finally in established labour....) i was taken down to have my epidural and it was BLISS. i could have kissed the guy that gave me the epi... pain free and finally myself again! they broke my waters to speed things up and left me for 3 hours before checking me again. my contractions were still not regular, 4-6 mins apart, and had done nothing despite being very strong. STILL only 3 cm!!! so they put me on a syntocinon drip, which did nothing. well it got me to just under 5 cm... then ruben's heart trace went a bit funny, and as he'd passed meconium earlier they needed to check he was ok. first they did a foetal scalp blood sample which was normal. but they noticed that i had started bleeding from the placenta. so they needed to attach a foetal monitor to the baby's head. they struggled! i have never in my life been poked so vigorously down below! lol... and so many people watching and rushing around... they never managed to attach the thing, my epi top up wore off and i was in agony again! i got the mother of all contractions that would not stop!!! so it was decided that a c-section would be better as things were looking a little risky. got my epi topped up again finally, and was wheeled down to theatre. it all happened very fast. got even more pain relief trough the epidural and was prepped for surgery whilst mike got his scrubs on. then before he could make it in the theatre and before i knew what happened i could hear ruben cry! mike came in the room just after that so he missed it... ruben was born at 00.42am on the 8th of feb, weighing 4,220gr / 9lbs 5.5oz. then i haemorrhaged... they spent 2 hours in theatre with me to stop the bleeding and stitch me up. mike was there with ruben for the 1st 30 minutes, then he left. i was shaking like mad and kept fighting off the oxygen mask as it stunk!!! i fell asleep on and off for a while, and was relieved when i was finally wheeled into recovery. mike had been so worried.... ruben had his 1st breastfeed and latched on beautifully. i stayed 3 days in hospital and it was sooooo god to get home yesterday! my milk still hasn't come in though, so he is on top up feeds from a bottle now. i have to try him on the breast first to stimulatemy milk supply, then he has a bottle to keep him satisfied. my stitches are healing well, and i'm having the staples removed tomorrow. still very sore though! anyway, to finish off the story here are some more pics: just arrived! first feed snug as a bug a proud daddy am i cute or what?! 3 days old and trying out my bouncer chair!