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Hannah, mother of one (born 2012), hometown Tipton

I had a low-risk pregnancy and planned to give birth to my daughter in a birthing pool at my local midwifery centre. I went into labour on the Saturday afternoon before she was due, with contractions every 10-20 minutes. My contractions continued and I managed them by bouncing on my birthing ball and taking (lots of!) baths. I entered established labour, with contractions five minutes apart, at 4am Tuesday morning. I rang the midwifery centre and they advised me to come in. My husband and I got a taxi and when we arrived I was examined and found to be 5cm dilated, so we were allowed to stay. I got into the birthing pool, drank a lot of Lucozade, and tried to distract myself with TV in between contractions! However, by midday an examination found that I hadn't progressed beyond 5cm. The midwife advised that she would break my waters but the if I didn't progress in the next hour I would have to transfer to hospital. Unfortunately my contractions slowed and we transferred to hospital via ambulance at 1pm. I was examined by a doctor who advised me that she thought my daughter's head was too big to fit through my pelvis. After talking with the consultant, however, the doctor advised that i should continue attempting to give birth naturally and I was put on a Syntocin drip to induce labour and given an epidural. By midnight I was able to feel stronger and stronger pressure and was told that this was a good thing as baby's head must be engaging. However once I was screaming in pain the midwife discovered that my epidural had fallen out. The anaesthetist was called and had to re-do my epidural due to clotting at the injection site. By this point I was 10cm dilated and was told to push, however once I tried my contractions slowed again - by this point I had been in labour for 74 hours and I believe my daughter and I were both exhausted. My doctor finally agreed to perform an emergency C section at 2am Wednesday morning and my daughter was born at 2.26am, healthy at 7lb 2oz. She cried immediately and I remember crying when I heard her cry and the anaesthetist and my husband holding each of my hands and telling me she was fine. My husband went with my daughter while she was cleaned and weighed while I was stitched up, he was the first to hold her. I saw her and kissed her but was unable to hold her straight away as I was vomiting due to low blood pressure. Afterwards my husband told me I was his hero for staying strong through my strong and traumatic labour! He also said if we hadn't been married he would be proposed to me there and then!