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Here is my birth tale of baby no 3 who is now a strapping 22 years old man called James! He has two older brothers, Toby and Charlie both of whom were induced 2 weeks after their due dates when there was still no sign of them wanting to make an appearance. My waters were broken, drugs given to start my labour and I had plenty of time for an epidural each time to help with the sudden onset of contractions. I was in labour for 18 hours for Toby and 12 for Charlie.

James on the other hand couldn’t wait to make his mark on the world! Sitting having lunch on Saturday 30th December, chatting about our plans for New Year’s Eve, I started to have what I assumed was just a tummy ache. Although my due date was 30 December, there was no way that I expected James to arrive on time based on my previous experience. He had a different idea! I soon realised that I was having quite regular contractions, and I made my way to St Mary’s. On arrival, I was examined by the midwives and was told that I had barely started dilating. I made the decision to have a hot bath whilst my husband went and finished off his lunch. That was a big mistake! My contractions started hard and fast. I was actually really frightened that I was going to give birth in the bathroom and then I saw the red cord and called for help. A midwife rushed in and helped me to a delivery room. I cried when I saw the stand in the corner of the room used for epidurals being wheeled out – how on earth was I going to cope without an epidural? The nurses explained that I was too far gone for an epidural and that I was almost ready to start pushing. Still no husband. A few frantic calls later and he appeared out of breath and very surprised at the state I was in. I was gasping huge amounts of gas and air, almost breaking Lawrence’s’ arm and pushing James out at great speed.

And then at 4pm, just 2 hours after I had arrived at the hospital, James was born. I actually couldn’t believe that I had managed to deliver him without the use of an epidural but the midwives were so unbelievably supportive and encouraging. I felt sad that my other births had been so managed by the professionals and with the use of so many drug and really proud that I had delivered such a beautiful baby with no help. James embraced the world at speed and has continued to be as enthusiastic about life to this day as his birthday.

But the excitement was not over yet. As I was falling asleep that evening, I heard the midwives saying that my sister was on her way in. She was due the following day and unbelievably was also on time. Obviously there was no way I could sleep and sat in the next room with my sister and brother in law for most of the night. She ended up having an emergency caesarean the following morning because her labour wasn't progressing as quickly as it should have and her first son who was only 15 months old at the time had been born via a C section. Oli was born on Sunday morning and that was the start of a wonderfully close friendship between him and James.

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