Can't believe I can actually write this now, still seems surreal!! Anyway, started getting strong but irregular pains on Friday (day after due date), although it didn't stop me from meeting my mum for lunch and doing a bit of shopping! They eased off a bit overnight but woke at 5.30am on Saturday with them being stronger and between 5-7mins apart. Went to the toilet at 6am and had a slight show so was pretty hopeful that this was the start of things. Phoned my parents at 7.30am to give them a heads up as they would be looked after DS while we went to hospital. Also called labour ward to let them know. Pottered about the house while DH took DS to his swimming lesson and they started to get stronger and more regular eventually going down to every 3-4 mins by the time I had got washed and dressed. Had a bath instead of my normal shower and it definitely helped with the pains. Called my parents again at 10.30am and asked them to come and collect DS as was then ready to go get some pain relief. They came down around 11ish and we headed to the hospital getting there just after 12. Midwife in triage was lovely and checked my urine, BP etc and listened to LO's heartbeat. Pains were bearable at this point and I was able to breathe through them. Midwife did an internal and told me I was only 2cm gone and cervix was still quite far back and a bit on the firm side. Was a bit gutted at this as thought the pains were quite bad (then felt like crying as worried my pain threshold was lower than I thought!!) We were told to go for lunch somewhere but decided to stay in the hospital and head to the canteen for something. Pains got stronger on the walk there and I ended up throwing up in one of the toilets and couldn't face eating anything. We headed back to triage where another midwife was starting shift - luckily it was one I had become really friendly with and while I was having regular and strong contractions, she came over, felt my stomach during one and asked if I wanted to be checked again. I was more than happy for her to do this although was not hopeful that any progress had been made in the hour since I'd last been checked. HOWEVER, when she checked, I was 4cm, cervix was soft and stretchy and she could feel my waters bulging a bit!!! Was so happy I could have kissed her. She did a really good sweep on me and said that I would probably lose alot of show the next time I went to the toilet (and she wasn't wrong - there was masses of it!!) She called round to labour ward and advised that I would be coming in but they had just cleared alot of woman up to post natal and were in the process of cleaning alot of delivery rooms so I was going to have to wait. At that point it was around 2pm and I was still able to breathe through the contractions. I managed to last til 4pm but was starting to get tired and had had NO pain relief up until that point. Midwife phoned labour ward to see if they were ready and they sent someone round to get me - she took us to one of the rooms and I had the fabulous gas and air which helped me no end (had forgotten how good it was!!) She asked if I wanted to be mobile etc and I said I would like the pool and asked if it was free. Luckily it was and hadn't been used at all that day. They started filling it and I was able to go in around 4.45. It was bliss!! Lovely and warm and went perfectly with the gas and air. Contractions started to really pick up and I was almost at the stage of asking for further pain relief when I felt ALOT of pressure down below. The urge to push was soooo intense and at that point my waters gave an almighty POP. After that there was no stopping me from pushing. After 5-7mins and a few pushes, our gorgeous son, Joseph Caden, was born at 5.55pm weighing in at a very healthy 8lb 10.5oz. My DH was an amazing help and I would never have gotten through those hours in triage without pain relief without him. He kept me focused and was an incredible support through the whole thing - I just love him to bits!!! Joseph is absolutely perfect and seems to be doing fine on the breastfeeding front. We got home this morning after spending a night on the delivery ward (they have a 3 bedded bay which is for 6 hour discharges although as he was born at 6pm and I didn't fancy taking him outside at midnight, we were allowed to stay to get discharged first thing in the morning) Had the whole room to myself and left there around 10am after he passed all his checks with paeds and hearing test folk. Rhys is loving his wee brother and can't wait to get to school tomorrow to tell everyone! Got away with a small 2nd degree tear and a few grazes but so happy that my birth went completely to my birth plan. Would highly recommend a birthing pool birth as pretty sure I would have given into a diamorphine shot if I had been on dry land and then regretted it. Thanks for reading it if you made it this far - didn't realise it would be that long!! Good luck to all you ladies still waiting!!