Delphine's beautiful birth

I started off at home... I went into labour spontaneously on the Monday afternoon with my mum and my sister by my side. That evening, a massive walk up the hill next to my house to see the view over Manchester - I had such a burst of energy at that point! Pausing to lean on garden walls breathe through contractions along the way. 

I laboured alone through the night in my bedroom with Dmitry asleep in the bed next to me... all I had was my TENS machine, hypnobirthing tracks on headphones and the old faithful - a hot water bottle! 
😍  I rang triage at 4am and they sent out the first midwife, Sally, who checked me on arrival and I was 7cm dilated at 5am. Oof! Second midwife (Kim) arrived and Dmitry filled up the birth pool. 
All morning I laboured up to 10cm.... in and out of the pool twice, on my knees leaning over the bath with Kim massaging my back, going up & down stairs two at a time sideways in a squat whilst pausing to puff on gas & air... sitting on a chair, on the toilet... lay down on my side... it came to midday and I was fully dilated and started trying to push. I could feel the baby’s head at the end of my finger - she was so close!
The only thing by this point was I was knackered and my contractions felt kind of weak. I had been holding out for this intense urge to push, this fetal  ejection reflex I had heard so much about... but I didn’t really feel it. I had trouble connecting with my contractions and pushing into them with strong force, rather than breathing them away hypnobirthing-style. I think a small part of me was also scared to go towards them with all my might, I was holding back mentally and hoping that my body would just do the work itself. Unfortunately it didn’t! ☹️
It got to 2pm and I was just more and more shattered. I kept trying to sleep on my side but it hurt too much. I agreed to go into hospital to get the syntocinon drip so that I could get those big contractions that would push my baby out. Ambulance was called and off we went - however I would never recommend an ambulance ride at 10cm dilated, to anyone, ever! I felt every pebble in the road. 
Arrived at hospital around 3pm and got rigged up on the drip. I was crying at this point feeling like I had somehow failed!  That didn’t last long though because soon enough the syntocinon kicked in and I was shouting for pain relief, opioids, an epidural, anything even a general and a c section which according to Dmitry I requested about 10 times!! 🤪 Of course it was far too late for any of that and with lots of coaching and encouragement, on my back with my feet up, plus an episiotomy (I didn’t mind at all!) I finally pushed her out . The feeling of relief and love and pure emotion at that point was incredible - you can see it on my face in the photos!