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      Real mums' and dads' birth stories

      Bringing your baby into the world is truly amazing. But before you can enjoy the precious first cuddle, there’s the birth to get through. It’s natural to be scared about labour. But the hardest day of your life becomes the happiest once you’re through it – as these mums will tell you.

      Was labour what they expected?

      I was exhausted but my body took over and did it for me

      Simran, 38 weeks

      When my waters broke I was two weeks early, so it was totally unexpected. I called my midwife and went to hospital. The contractions and pain got stronger quickly and five hours later, my baby’s head was in sight! I had a powerful urge to push. I was exhausted but my body took over and did it for me. 15 minutes later Ace was born! The pain wasn’t as bad as I expected – and next time I’d like a home birth.

      Read tips on how to get through labour

      I had to have an emergency caesarean

      Janey, 40 weeks

      Arabella was two weeks late so I had to be induced. I wanted a natural birth but after 20 hours of labour I had to have an emergency caesarean because my labour wasn’t progressing. The midwives were fantastic and I knew I was in safe hands. The most memorable bit was in the theatre afterwards, when my husband did skin-to-skin with her. The smile on his face was incredible.

      Find out more about C-sections

      I went into hospital hoping to have a water birth

      Jenna, 38 weeks

      Just three pushes and Jada was there!

      Ibrahim, excited dad-to-be

      After five hours of contractions, I went into hospital hoping for the water birth I’d planned. But Jada’s heart rate was too high, so it didn’t happen. The breathing I’d learned at hypnobirthing really helped. And I had lots of support from my husband, Ibrahim, and my mum, so I didn’t need any pain relief. The biggest surprise for me was her weight – 8lbs 3oz!

      Find out about having a water birth

      Jenna was really strong and kept her cool. I did what I could to help her through labour but I think the hypnobirthing really helped, especially when the baby’s heartbeat was too fast and we thought she might need an emergency caesarean. The best bit was how quickly she was born. Once things got started it took just three pushes and Jada was there!

      Read tips for how to involve your partner

      Labour was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding

      Lydia, 37 weeks

      It’s all a bit of a blur now but giving birth took longer than we thought! I had a few ups and downs with pain relief not working. Then I needed an episiotomy to help get her out. Labour was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding. As soon as I saw Amelie’s face all the pain disappeared. During labour I said I’d never do it again – but now I would!

      Find out more about stitches after birth

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