I realise I am somewhat late posting my announcement, I can't even begin to tell you how deliriously tired I am and baby has kept me super busy! Anyways, here is my birth story, it is a tad long... sowwy On the 13th of Sept I posted on the 3rd tri forums about my waters breaking.... In France it is their policy to induce you unless contractions start pretty quick once your waters have gone, so I sat tight at home in the hope that nature would take it's course. I leaked steadily from 2pm onwards, but no contractions until early evening, and even then they were not very regular. Both of the babysitters we had arranged to mind the kids whilst we went to the clinic were incommunicado, and by 10pm when we finally got in touch with one of the babysitters and left the kids with them, I was still only having very mild and irregular contractions. The drive to the clinic is 45 mins, and half way there the contractions started coming regularly, about every 5 mins closing to every 3 mins as we approached the clinic, both me and OH felt we could be meeting our baby before midnight, we felt very excited but surprisingly calm, the contractions still weren't too painful. As soon as we pulled up outside the clinic and I stepped out of the car, I felt a huge gush and what was left of my waters completely saturated me, I was stood in a huge puddle and soaked from the waist down! There was a brief panic as we approached the entrance of the clinic and realised the main entrance/reception was closed and in complete darkness After a brief walk around the building we realised we were supposed to buzz in at the front entrance, as there is no A&E at this clinic I suspect they do not receive many night time visitors, so it was no surprise that a midwife came to let us in, and calmly led us to the labour ward. By now it was 11pm, since stepping out of the car my contractions had stopped completely. I was checked by a junior midwife, then a senior midwife came to check me and told me I was only 3cm dilated, and as my waters had broken I would be induced if I did not start having contractions within the hour I was also asked if I wanted an epidural, which having discovered it was a full dose epi (numb from the waist down) I politely declined, then started to panic as there was no other pain relief available at all! The senior midwife was actually very sweet and listened carefully to all my concerns about how labour/birth is conducted in France, she agreed not to put me on a drip (for water and glucose) and not to hook me up to any monitors so I could be mobile, she also said I didn't have to put my feet in stirrups if I didn't want to, hurrah! I chatted with her briefly and she was telling me how archaic French Labour/birth practices are and that she was not of the "old school" train of thought and so was happy to let me do pretty much as I pleased, within reason (some things are law in France- like I would have to have the drip at some point, but she said we could wait until afterwards), however, being induced after waters have broken IS a French law and she reminded me I had 1 hour to relax and see if my contractions started naturally before she prepared me for induction. OH and I were left alone then, and within 10 minutes the contractions, much to my relief, started again. This time they were more painful, and very regular at about 3 minute intervals, but I was still coping and not groaning or grumbling about the pain, YET. As I was only 3cm dilated, both OH and me looked at the clock and discussed as it was now 11:40pm it was unlikely we would meet baby before midnight..... At 12:05AM I was hit with quite a big contraction, it was the first to make me groan in pain and the midwife returned and very kindly rubbed my back and made sure I was comfortable, I had 3 more contractions like this, when suddenly I felt the urge to push, I said this out loud in English to OH and the midwife, having understood the word "push" quickly did an internal, and to everyones surprise confirmed I was now fully dilated and could start pushing when I wanted! It had happened so fast, I was panicking now about the pain that was to come and didn't feel at all ready to push. On the next contraction the midwife urged me to push, but the urge to wasn't overwhelming and I held back. When the next contraction started I decided I would push this time, I had only had a total of about 5 painful contractions and was preparing myself for the worst still to come. As the contraction peaked I pushed as hard as I could, I felt the baby move into the birth canal and screamed like a banshee. OH later described the look on my face as something akin to a soldier in the battlefield who had just had his legs blown off (and described it to his friends this way later too!) and said my lips went blue. I was still pushing when suddenly everyone was shouting at me to stop. I looked at OH and he was crying, then I heard a baby cry and looked down, to my utter amazement LO had arrived after just ONE push, it was so quick that my contraction hadn't even finished when the midwife placed LO on my tummy, she was perfect. So, Baby Bluebelle arrived after just 1hr 26 mins of labour at 12:26am weighing 2.9kg (approx 6.5lbs). We actually named her Bluebell (without the E) but OH registered the birth and spelled it wrong This was my 3rd labour, and I can honestly say I would give birth to Bluebelle a million times over, it was so fast and easy and the relief after just one push was immense! Nearly 3 weeks on and I am exhausted but happy, and Bluebelle is growing fast, and she has lil pixie ears, rather fitting for a LO named Bluebelle me thinks!