Tara Bartup gave birth to her daughter Molly at Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, here's her story...
Where were you when you realised you were in labour, and how long did you wait until you went into hospital?
I realised I was in labour in the morning of my due date. I woke up with a few twinges, which gradually got worse throughout the day.
By about 5pm contractions were becoming more painful and frequent. I spoke to the hospital who advised having a bath and staying at home as long as possible.
This worked but my waters broke at about 8pm, and immediately after this contractions were much more painful and frequent, probably every two minutes or so. We called the hospital and went in to the midwife led unit of the hospital (it's called The Ridgeway Birth Centre), arriving at about 9pm.
Did you have a birth plan and did you stick to it?
My birth plan was to go with the flow really, but I really didn't want an epidural and I didn't have one so I guess I did stick to it.
So what pain relief did you use? Why did you choose it?
I wanted to have a natural birth as possible so wanted minimal pain relief, upon arriving I was given gas and air, which worked fine until almost the very end.
I couldn't have a water birth as the pool was already in use, so I also had pethidine which made me very drowsy but took the edge off the pain.
I was quite attached to my gas and air, and Dean, my partner, wheeled it round after me! I spent a lot of time sitting on the loo. Not going, I just felt really comfortable in there - strange!
Did you have a long time to wait before you were ready to push?
When I got to the hospital I was only 4cm dilated but it progressed quickly, and Molly was born at ten past midnight. The pushing stage seemed to be very quick, I'd say it was only about half an hour.
So she missed being born on her due date by just 10 minutes?
Yes, that's right!
How would you rate the midwife led unit?
I had the same midwife with me for the whole birth, she hardly left the room and was an amazing support. The hospital was good, and it was nice to have my own room and bathroom in the unit.
How did you feel when Molly was born? How did Dean feel?
I felt in absolute awe of Molly when I first saw her and was very emotional, I was also very concerned as she didn't cry straight away.
I'd been given the pethidine very close to delivery and it had made her drowsy so she had to be taken off me to be checked over. Dean was on top of the world, you couldn't get the smile off of his face!
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