This is more of a momento to look back on and so I don't forget all the details. Apologies for the length and painstaking details I just know I will forget it all unless I get it all down. My daughter was born on 19.09.2016 at 07:24am in the birthing pool. My due date was 15.09.2016 & when that passed and I hadn't gone into labour I was convinced I would be induced like I was with my son. On the 15th, my due date, I Started to feel as though I was coming down with something. My body felt fluish and my legs & feet were killing me. I spent the day lying on the couch feeling miserable. I got my hopes up by googling and thinking it was a labour sign but I woke up on the 16th & my body was A bit better but my legs and feet still killed me. I weighed myself and I had lost 1lb and I had a bit of dirreah. I started to get excited that labour was approaching. Then on 17th I woke up feeling great. I was miserable. I thought labour was never going to happen. I had tried walking, birthing ball, sex, hot food - everything j could think of. I read online about clary sage so I took my OH & son shopping to Holland & Barrett on Saturday 17th to buy some. As we were walking to the car I was smelling the oil and I put some on my wrists. On the drive home I started getting period pains. I was so excited. I thought it was happening. When I got home the pains stopped so again I was so disappointed. I put some on my bump mixed with olive oil and at night I put some on a tissue. Just before bed I had a small show. Then on Sunday 18th after the best sleep I've had all pregnancy (Caleb was staying with my mum) I woke up & felt a bit guilty as I had been so grumpy with my son the previous day. I decided to take him to spftplay. I was going down all the slides with him & on the bouncy castle. Usually I just sit and watch him but I felt guilty and really wanted to enjoy our last outings just us two - I'm so glad I did as this was our last day before she came. So when I got home on the 18th from spftplay I had a bigger show. I didn't know if I'd lost the full mucus plug but it was definetly bigger than the last show. I got very excited but also wary to get my hopes up. I went for a shower and washed my hair just incase. That evening myself & oh watched xfactor and when it finished he said something about the fact that we should have watched a film instead of wasting our last nights watching rubbish tv. I felt SO emotional & got really upset about this. This pregnancy has been great emotionally but that night I felt so totally unable to cope with my emotions. We made up and headed to bed about half 10. We lay chatting about baby names & decided to go to sleep about 11:15pm. At around 11:30pm I got a tightening & a pain in my stomach. I googled "did I just have my first contraction?" As although I have given birth before I was induced and it was very intense so I didn't know what to expect when it happened naturally. The pain came back every 5-10 mins and I started timing them on my phone. I told my OH and he thought we should call the hospital. So I called the hospital and explained I was having some pains. They asked me if I thought my waters had gone and I said no but that I was getting some watery red discharge. They asked me to come up to check if it was my waters but that there was no immediate rush. So I took my time, had a shower to freshen up then called my mum. My mum was going to be my birthing partner along with my OH but I had my son who I was taking to my mums house as my sister lives there. the plan was that she would take him to school in the morning. Instead of waking her up I asked my mum to settle my son into bed and then to head up to the hospital if I was getting kept in (I didn't know if I would be sent home or not). So we dropped my son off at my mums, he was quite excited and I had a few contractions in the car. I was so worried my contractions would stop as I had read about labour which starts and stops for days so I couldn't get too excited - plus the pain wasn't too bad. I used my hypnobirthing soundtrack which I had bought and listened to this on the way to the hospital. It made me feel very calm and helped me to cope through the contractions by listening to the words and distracting myself. When we arrived at the hospital I was convinced we would be sent home to labour as my contractions were every 6-8 mins lasting about 40 seconds but weren't exactly excruciating. With my son I remember being in a lot of pain from the beginning so I thought this one was just very early labour. When we arrived at triage we got a lovely midwife who put me at ease straight away. She was chatty and explained everything. I was hooked up to the CTG and the baby's heart rate was around 120bpm and whenever I had a contraction the Toco reading went very low from 30 to between 1-10. I didn't know what this meant but hoped it was a good sign. Then midwife came then to check if my waters had gone (which I didn't think they had done) using a speculum. It was a bit uncomfortable and confirmed that my waters were intact. She said it was a good thing as the water can help to absorb some of the pain/pressure. Then she checked me and I was 3-4cm dialated which meant I could stay and go to labour and delivery. At this point I was just SO happy. I had gone into labour by myself. Excatly the way I had dreamed. This was about 4:30am and I let my mum know and she came to the hospital. I was shown to a room in the labour ward but my intention was to use the birthing pool. I was told I could get into the pool when I was having 3 contractions in 10 mins. I stayed in the room until 6:50 when I went into the pool room. I had asked for gas and air as the contractions were getting more uncomfortable. Until now I had coped with my hypnobirthing soundtrack as I didn't know how long it would be and I didn't want to take the gas and air too early and then have nothing to progress onto. I kept moving around the room & my mum rubbed my back. When I got the gas & air it definitely took the edge off of the pain but the midwife decided it was getting to the stage where I could get in the pool. She left to start running it & I continued to use the gas & air & listen to the hypnobirthing soundtrack until it was ready. At 6:50am the pool was ready so we went across the corridor to the pool room. I put on my bikini top and bottoms as I didn't feel at the stage where I was comfortable to be naked yet. When I got in the pool it was like a warm bath & instantly eased some of the pain & helped me to relax. The room was very peaceful with the lights dimmed & there was spotlights in the pool which reminded me of a spa. I continued to use the gas and air and I could feel pressure in my bum area. It was tempting to scream out but I kept reminding myself that if I screamed I wouldn't be getting the gas and air so I just kept taking very deep breaths. After around 10 minutes of being in the pool I felt an intense pressure. All I could manage to say was "it's coming". I wasn't aware of who was in the room at this point as I was facing the back wall but a new midwife had came into the room as the original midwife was due to finish at 7:30. This was around 7:15am so they were busy transferring notes and discussing my progress so far. The new midwife came over to me and asked me to take off my bikini bottoms. The pressure was so intense that I couldn't so she pulled the string and the came loose. I felt my waters go at this point and opened my eyes to see the pool water had became slightly CloudY. When the contraction stopped I was able to come off the gas and air and hold a conversation. The midwife asked if I wanted to lift my baby out and I said I did but if I was struggling to I wouldn't mind or care if the midwife pulled her out. I then felt another contraction building and I asked the midwife if I could pushed. I was worried that I would push and I wasn't fully dilated as I hadn't been checked since 3-4cm. She told me to just go with my body. She checked me with a mirror and said my baby would be born soon. I didn't hear her properly however and thought she said "the baby won't be born soon" and so this panicked me but she reassured me that the baby was coming. On the next contraction I could feel the baby moving down. I'm not sure if it was my hypnobirthing or the water but it was an intense pressure rather than extreme pain that I remember from My first birth. The head slowly emerged and the contraction eased off. It felt like a lifetime that I was sitting waiting for the next contraction. I asked the midwife if the baby was OK as it was submerged in water for so long but she reassured me it was fine. She told me on my next contraction I would need to push really hard to ensure my baby was born. She told me not to use my gas and just concentrate on pushing. I thought I felt another contraction building but it was actually just the baby moving inside my. It was the strangest feeling. On the next contraction I tried to push but the pain/pressure was too much and I screamed for the gas and air. As I breathed through the pressure the baby gradually slid out. The midwife told me to get ready to get my baby. As she emerged I placed my hands down and pulled her up. I could feel her legs and feet sliding out. The time was 7:24 so I had only been in the pool for 20/25 minutes and pushing for 10 minutes. This was such a drastic comparison to my son where I pushed relentlessly for an hour. At this point I struggled to pull her up to me out of the water. I thought her cord was too short but it was actually around her neck so the midwife unravelled it and she was placed on my chest. The midwife kept splashing the water onto her to keep her warm. I couldn't get a good look at her face but just holding her felt so so amazing. I felt so incredible. I had asked for delayed cord clamping in my birth plan so after 5 minutes my mum cut the cord. The baby was then wrapped up and my partner held her. I was then taken to a bed in the corner of the room and given the injection for the placenta. After a couple of minutes I tried to push it out but the midwife had to gently pull the cord and it was released. I asked to see it as I hadn't seen the placenta with my first birth & I was curious. It was so large & the detail of the veins amazed me. I couldn't believe that had kept my baby alive for 9 months. Once the placenta was delivered the midwife checked me for any damage and she said that there wasn't even a graze. This was completely different to my sons birth where I had a third degree tear and stiches. I was then taken across to the labour room that I was in originally and the baby was placed on my chest. Immediately she started rooting and I latched her on. She took to breastfeeding amazingly and so naturally. Once she stopped feeding they weighed her and she was 7lbs 4oz. They also took her temperature and it was 35.9 so slightly low. They told me she would need to be placed in an incubator beside my bed until her temperature has risen and became stable. After this I went for a shower and felt so well considering what I had just done. With my son I remember feeling AWFUL and the shower being particularly bad as it was like a blood bath. This time however I took my toiletry bag and was able to completely freshen up. I put on my new Pyjamas that I had bought and felt so good. I was then taken to the ward and was able to feed the baby again. After she fed my mum and partner left and I placed the baby in the incubator. It was difficult as I was advised to keep her in there for as long as possible. When she cried I had to just reach in and try to comfort her. I tried to have a rest whilst she was sleeping but my dad had asked if he could come to visit. He came at 11am and so I hadn't had a chance to sleep yet. Once he left I managed an hour or so before the baby woke up again. At 3pm my son was due to visit after school with my partner. Just before they arrived I was taken to another ward. When they arrived my son was more interested in the present he was promised from his sister rather than actually meeting her. After about 30 mins more of my family arrived and I became a bit stressed as there was so much of them in such a small space. Finally they all left and I was able to get some sleep. The first night she slept so well they midwife had to come & wake me up to feed her as she'd gone 4 hours between her feeds. This continued for the first week where she was going such a long time between feeds especially at night. I thought I had definetly gotten lucky. Into her second week however she has been waking every 2-3 hours for a feed and sometimes 1.5 hours during the night. It means that I'm tired but everutime I look at her I fall slightly more in love and it all becomes so so worth it. I feel a little sad at the minute as my OH is adamant that we won't have anymore kids and I just can't believe I won't ever experience this again. I literally feel like the happiest person alive I wish I could bottle this feeling. In particular compared to the experience of my first child I have felt back to normal after 4/5 days where as with my son I couldn't leave the house for weeks as I was so drained and tired. I didn't particularly enjoy his newborn phase at all. This time however I want to get out and show off my newborn and enjoy the cuddles with her at every possible stage. Even during the night I enjoy waking up (well not enjoy but don't resent it) as I just love to look into her eyes & soak it all in. She's already grown so much in 2 weeks. She was 7lbs 4oz when born and after 5 days had lost 4oz so was 7lbs exactly. 7 days later she was weighed again and was 7lbs 12oz, I couldn't believe it. She will be weighed again tomorrow and I think she will have gained a lot of weight again as I can see her cheeks have filled out. It makes me sad that she's growing so quick but also so proud as she's taken to breastfeeding so well. I am so in love and feel so great and truly attribute this so my calm birth. I would absolutely recommend a water birth to anyone who feels that it would suit them. Also the hypnobirthing soundtrack was 100% what got me through on just gas and air. I know for a fact if I hadn't had this I would have lost it and would not have been able to cope. Every time I started to feel this way however I just concentrated on the words. I remember at one point the contraction becoming quite intense and the woman was saying to imagine the contraction is simply the uterus cuddling the baby. I know it may not be for everyone but at that moment it seemed to help bare the pain and then it passed. The soundtrack I listened to was Maggie Howell - hypnobirthing for hospital birth. I downloaded it for £7.99 in iTunes and listened to this through earphones on my phone.