Very early on in my pregnancy I knew I wanted to try and have an unmedicated natural birth. I am one of five children and my mom had natural delivery with all of us. I was sure it could happen for me too.

After doing some research and talking to people about going for an unmedicated labour, we decided we wanted to have a Doula to help us through the labour. Being first time parents not knowing what to expect, and especially for me, I wanted someone who could help me stick to the decision I had made. I knew that if the pain got too much to handle I may want to give in.

On 25th June, at 40 weeks and 4 days, there were no signs of this baby coming on his own. I was beginning to feel anxious as Colleen, our doula, was going to be traveling and would not be able to be there if our baby didn't come today or tomorrow. It was a difficult decision to make but we decided to go in for an induction in hope that the labour would progress nicely and that at least we could have Colleen there with us. That afternoon Colleen came to give me a foot massage. I had taken a second dose of castor oil but nothing was happening except for some mild Braxton Hicks contractions. We just kept on hoping and praying that baby would come on his own.

We went in to the hospital at about 10:30pm that evening. The labour ward was busy with two other woman about to deliver their babies. It was a little scary hearing all of that going on and knowing I was heading in that direction too. After doing our paperwork and waiting in the labouring room, the midwife came to administer the induction at 12:30am. At about 1am I got up to go to the toilet and as I got up after my

waters broke. I felt a contraction start almost immediately. The nursing sister came to remove the "string" as the contractions were very strong and close together. Colleen came to the hospital at about 2am. The intensity of the contractions so early on was not something I expected. The contractions radiated down from my lower back and into my hips and thighs. My husband massaged my legs and Colleen got me into different positions to see what would help. The midwife came to check me at about 6am and told us I was 4cm. I was so encouraged to hear how the labour had been progressing and we hoped that by mid morning or late morning we would be meeting our baby. When they came to check on me again at 11am I was only 5.5cm and then at lunch time I was 6cm. When my doctor came to check I was 7cm. Hours had gone by an my contractions were much further apart. I was very disappointed. Colleen worked with us to try and get me into positions that would help speed up the labour again but I was feeling exhausted and had no energy. I wanted to keep going but my body felt limp and weak. When the doctor came again at 5pm and there had been no change he spoke to us and said he was concerned that the labour was not progressing. He was sure there was an obstruction. Either baby's head had gone down incorrectly or his head was just too big. The doctor was suggesting I have a caesarean. It seemed unfair after labouring for 18 hours without any pain medication that I should have to endure such a massive surgery in the end.  7cm was so close but just not close enough! I felt sad about it but I also knew that I had tried to do everything that I could to have had a natural birth and just because I didn't, it didn't mean I had failed. My body and mind were beyond exhaustion and I told my husband then that I didn't think I could go on labouring for longer and that I thought we should have the c-section.

It all happened very quickly after that. They prepped me for the surgery and as I was wheeled down to the theatre, I saw all our family who had been anxiously waiting outside. I was comforted to know they were all there supporting us. The surgery went quickly. I think I was so drowsy that I was battling to keep my eyes open. Colleen and my husband were with me the whole time and talking to me as they started to take the baby out. I was elated when I heard his first cry. That was such an incredible moment. I just sobbed with happiness. When they brought him to me and I could see his little face and his eyes open looking all around him I was overwhelmed with love. He was perfect.  Daniel Blake Heuer was born at 18:13 on 26th June 2014 and weighed 4.04kgs.

Thinking back over my experience, I know we made the right choices. I got to experience labour and I was able to do that without any pain medication. It was only through the incredible support of my husband and Colleen who praised and encouraged me through each contraction and then through the surgery never left my side. It didn't matter in the end how our baby got here, only that he was healthy and in our arms. Welcome to the world Daniel son!