Hi ladies, I know this is a bit late but I thought I would share my LO's birth with you. For some reason I just KNEW that he would come early, not EARLY-EARLY, just in time to save me from wanting to gnaw off my wrists (I'm not the most gracious pregnant woman around). Went to bed the 27th, checking that everything is ready for hospital, that DS1 was packed and ready to go to granny's because I had a feeling he would arrive the following day. Woke up a little before 2am, needing to go to the loo. When I came back I just laid down and gave OH a little hug before jumping upright and bolting for the loo again . . . my waters broke! I got OH to calm down , woke DS1 and off we went to the hospital, first dropping DS1 off at the in-laws. My contractions came every 5 minutes then but didn't last very long and didn't hurt much. By the time we reached the hospital (almost an hour away) I had contractions every 3 minutes but they still didn't hurt much. I was booked in and the nurse checked, I was 3 cm dilated. She said seeing as it's so early she won't wake my ob yet, and asked if I wanted an epidural. It still didn't hurt much but there was NO WAY I was going to be in pain if I didn't have to so I said yes. By the time things heated up and the contractions really started to hurt it was 6am. The nurse phoned my ob and he said he will organise someone to come do my epidural. The anaethestist (sp?) only arrived after 8, apologising all the way, saying that he had to do an epi at another hospital. I was ready to forgive him if only he could get the @#$# needle in my back! Anyway, he looked for the right spot and put the needle in and I almost died of pain, he put it in the wrong place and went through a ligament! He was chatty all the time but the moment he shut up and everything went quiet in the room I knew something was wrong. He quietly said that we can discuss it afterwards and he will put the epi in a little higher. The epi in place and the medicine starting to numb me, he explained that he punctured the membrane around my spinal column and that if it leaks I would have headaches but that he would be able to fix the problem. He then took off, without waiting to find out if the epi was successful. And it wasn't! For some reason I felt everything at the bottom half and the epi spread upwards, making me unable to even move my shoulders from the bed! It was hell feeling every contraction and every labour pain and not being able to lift my arm to hit someone! I will spare you the painful details except to say that my beautiful son was born at 10:13, I had an episiotomy and a few stitches which, by now, have already healed. It is customary to stay in hospital for 2 nights here, and I was so in love with my little one that I ignored the headaches at first. When we got home, however, it was a different story! It became so bad that everytime I moved it felt like my head was being split open with an axe. I couldn't hear my LO cry at night because of the buzzing in my ears and everytime I tried to stand up I went blind for a few seconds because of the pain. OH couldn't stand to see me in pain and phoned the anaethesist, telling him in no uncertain terms that he messed up and he now has to fix it. Well, back to the hospital and they did a blood patch - of which I was VERY afraid seeing as I didn't want the dr. near my spine again! It worked pretty soon though and the headaches are gone, even though I'm now left with a sore back and back spasms - which I've been told is normal and will fade after a week or so. Little Tristan is the sweetest baby EVER and I would gladly go through everything again just to have him in my arms! Sorry ladies, I don't mean to put you off having an epidural, apparently puncturing the membranes only happens in about 1 out of 500 cases - I had a good experience with an epi with DS1's birth and I will fully agree to have one again if I'm pregnant with number 3! Two photos of my gorgeous little boy . . . and congratulations on your patience if you read all of the above!