For a few days I had niggley period like cramps on and off, so was on my birthing ball as much as possible. Due to gestational hypertension, I was given a date for induction for a week later. I pretty much guessed that I didn't have a chance of going into labour naturally so just accepted it. I even saw the Midwife the following day and told her about the pains I was having, but she told me she was sure birth was not anywhere near like I thought it might be. On that same day, in the evening, I was watching Come Dine With Me and felt a pop. It was a bizarre sensation, kind of felt like wind, but in my front part :/ I stopped dead and thought, that was a bit weird. So I didn't think any more of it until about 5 minutes later when I suddenly felt myself leaking down there. I knew instanty what it was and looked down and my bed (which I was sitting on at the time) was completely soaked. My Mum rang the hospital and they told me to go straight in. So me and my parents went to the hospital and discovered that my favourite midwife was on shift (I'd got to know her from being so backwards and forwards to the hospital having my blood pressure monitored) I started getting pains at the hospital, but they weren't too bad. My temperature was up slightly so they gave me paracetamol and said they needed to monitor me. They examined me and I was 1cm dilated, but my cervix was very high and still hard. My temperature was still up an hour later so they decided to keep me in overnight rather than send me home so they could monitor me and the baby. The night was really hard going, i was having contractions and was on my own without my parents there. So I decided to have a bath and the midwife sat in with me chatting to me which helped keep me calm. I managed to get through the rest of the night and had a co codamol (I think that's what it was) at 5am. My Mum came back up to the hospital at 9 and the contractions had slowed down. The hospital decided to give me one pessary after examining me and finding I was still the same (cervix and dilation) After the pessary was inserted, the contractions were alot stronger and the hospital encouraged us to move around alot to keep it going. We walked around the hospital and I was struggling so we had alot of strange looks and people asking if we needed help, lol. In the afternoon, they examined me and after all the hours of pain, I was still the same!!! They said that the pessary was making the contractions stronger but I just wasn't dilating on my own. So that evening, I was transferred to a delivery room and hooked up to the drip to induce the labour. The contractions were alot more intense on the drip, but I managed to get to 4/5 cm without pain relief. I focused on my breathing and my parents were fantastic. At this point, I was given the gas an air which was fantastic. After a couple of contractions, I learnt how to breathe into it properly and started to really feel the effects. I was really spaced out, but was still aware of what I was doing and saying etc. Eventually it got to a point where the gas and air wasn't enough (I think I must have been around 8 cm) so I asked for the epidural. The woman that did it messed it up at first and burst a blood vessel so I was bleeding all over the place. Then it wasnt effective and I was still in pain, so she had to come down and adjust it and then it seemed to be ok. Although apparently my back was a complete mess with all the blood and fluid my Mum said. I could relax a little bit with the epidural, so lay down and just recovered for a little bit, but then I started to feel alot of pressure in my bum. I thought I was pooing but apparently I wasn't. And the midwives got all excited and told me that the pressure was a good sign. I started getting the urge to push so the midwife told me to just give it a go. After about half an hour, we started to make progress, though bear in mind at this point I had been in labour for a total of 18 hours, so I was totally knackered. The midwives examined me and I was ready to to go. The midwife had a feel for baby's head and told me it was right there and she could feel he had alot of hair. This made me pretty emotional and gave me some more strength to push. So I continued to push for another hour and a half (total pushing time was 2 hours 10 mins) the head kept coming towards the opening but wouldn't crown. I pushed so so hard and was told that I would need a forceps delivery if he didn't come out in 15 minutes. So I pushed and pushed and with 5 minutes to spare, they decided to cut me to see if that helped. I didn't realise at this point that my baby's heart rate had dropped and it was now or never. The midwife told me when to pant and push and eventually I felt his head come out and felt the midwives pull the rest of his body out. It was a strange sensation, it felt like a huge release from inside my stomach. He was put on my chest straightaway and I can honestly say that it was the most amazing experience of my life. He looked into my eyes straight away and it was love at first sight. He was born on Thursday January 27th at 04.00 am and my waters broke on Tuesday January 25th at 21.15. After the birth, from tearing and having to have the episiotomy, I had lost a dangerous amount of blood. Almost to the point where a transfusion was needed. I also felt really ill after it all. But it was so worth it. The whole labour in total was 20 hours and I can honestly say it is the most amazing thing I have ever done. Yes it was hard and difficult, but I would do if again in a heartbeat. I was so frightened about that day ever since I found out I was pregnant, but your body honestly does take over and I was shocked at my own resilience and strength. I have left this experience a totally different person. I keep reliving the experience and me and my parents can't stop talking about it!! Nathanael is doing well and is really settling at home. To all those still waiting to give birth...good luck! And enjoy it!! You'll go over every single second after. Being a Mum is the best job in the world! Thankyou to everyone who has given support through the pregnancy. Its been an amazing journey.