My first experience of going through labour was probably what you’d imagine if you ever watched “One Born Every Minute” – I went into hospital after about nine of hours of (what seemed like) close contractions. And they didn’t send me away which seemed to confirm that I was in established labour. However it then took another 19 hours of pacing up and down in this little, clinical, 8 foot space, trying to get comfortable between contractions and becoming more and more exhausted. I think I actually wrote a birth plan the first time around and it said something along the lines of “no drugs if possible”. Well that all went straight out of the window – I was given pethadine first, in an attempt to stall things for long enough for me to get some sleep. That made me puke within about two seconds of the injection! Then I got stuck at 4cm dilated for hours on end so I was told my best option was the syntocin drip and along with that I was offered an epidural for the massive speeding up of painful contractions and I took it. (All this was after about 17 hours of non-stop TENS mild electric shocking).