Gosh where do I start - was a long old haul but worth every second. Had a sweep at 39 weeks which was 2nd November. Then first contractions on Thursday 3rd during the night - every 15 mins for about 3 hours. So naturally we got a bit excited to think by the end of the weekend we'd have our bundle of joy. But no! Contractions continued sporadically for days! They were irregular, never getting more than 7 minutes apart but every time we got close to a pattern they'd stop again. By Sunday night they were getting very painful and I was losing sleep every night - couldn't lie down at all so had to sit up in bed and sleep for ten minutes between contractions, most so painful I had to stand up out of bed to breathe through. Contractions were lasting 3 to 5 minutes every time. We were out walking the roads every day to try and bring the contractions on but nothing was happening. Monday evening I thought my waters started to leak so we went in to get checked on Tuesday morning. They were intact but bulging, with contractions still irregular, 4cm dilated so we were sent home again. Wednesday night (due date and now 6 nights into slow labour) I couldn't take the pain and sleeplessness any more so went in to hospital. Was 6cm, contractions were about 10 minutes apart so they let me stay and gave pethidine to help me sleep (I was so so tired I threw my plans out the window). It didn't help at all. The next day I still had not slept but was told I was in spurious labour and would get my waters artificially ruptured to get started - hooray! Waters broken at 2.30, still at 6cm - contractions got stronger but no closer together so was put on a syntocin (Sp?) drip an hour later. They started getting closer together and more painful so I started using gas and air (pethidine long out of my system). Contractions still lasting about 4 minutes a time and very strong. Was told they were unusually long. Couldn't lie down as pain was all in my back so continued on for 5 hours kneeling, standing, walking and using gas and air only. By 7pm I was getting really tired and the pain was intense so asked for a VE - I said if I was progressing I would like an epidural and to continue. I was only 7cm and baby wasn't fully engaged! She was also lying a bit oblique. Devastated to have gotten to 6cm at home and only 1 more since I'd been in hospital! Midwife went to get doc and I told OH I thought we were heading for a section. Sure enough he examined me too and said it wasn't going to happen naturally - needed a section to get this little one out. Worst part was waiting an hour between being told we'd need surgery and finally getting the spinal - about 5 doctors came in to explain things to me and get consent etc, all the while the contractions were just as strong and gas n air doing frig all by now!! But at long last got to theatre after 9 and got the spinal (ahhhhhh relief). The midwives and doctors were all really really nice and baby Elena was born in no time! OH got to announce the sex and was handed her pretty quickly, she was brought to my head first for a kiss. She was 8lb 2 and perfect! Hubby got some quality time while I was sewn up and then we had lots of time in recovery for skin to skin and first feed. Home 2 days later and settling ok by now (day 4). Boy it was arduous but worth every second as she is such an angel. I would do it all again!