The birth of MJ, first born of SPS and I.

This is literally 30s after birth, after SPS told me firmly to get the camera and start taking pictures, pictures there is a literal once in a lifetime opportunity to get. This is with the cord still attached and pulsing remaining goodness into her. I put the camera down to cut the cord...

She was born at 1630 tonight, after a labour advanced by a hormone infusion, following waters breaking on Friday night, and waiting 32 hours for things to get going naturally.

Sorry if yesterday's blip was a bit...omitting of the truth....but we wanted to keep things of the internet till be were sure she was safe and well.

We headed in this morning after a long night of contractions, to find things progressing very slowly. MJ showed some signs of low heart rate early on, so our plans of water birth were knocked on the head then, even before the hormone drip was decided.

Continuous monitoring was necessary, and troublesome, necessitating a clip on MJ's scalp, which kept breaking.

The infusion went well, with contractions going great guns... but the episodes of low HR increased. It was worse when SPS was upright....and two and a half hours in things were starting to get a little intense.

Just as we were starting to think about a blood sample from MJ, and SPS about pain relief beyond gas and air, a quick check...and there she was, crowning. A quick two minutes on and she was born. it turned out her cord was twice around her neck. Thus explaining the premi bradycardia and dislike of positions with high gravity load.

It wasn't the ideal birth we had considered, but though it was tough going, we stayed strong as a team, asked questions where we had them, led on decision making as a couple, based on instinct and evidence. I even read a cochrane review on Saturday night and asked some difficult questions.

At times it was hairy. Scary even. But it was our birth, our unique experience, and it's done. All the way through we were trying to be mindful. This contraction, right now. Not 'sad we didn't get birthing centre' or 'shit, think what's coming.'

She is tiny, at 5lb 15.5oz, but perfectly formed. When I left tonight she had fed, been changed, and gotten ready for bed.

We are delighted. Delighted for each other and for the family we now have. Delighted at the superb professionalism of the labour ward staff and the brilliant one to one midwife care from Melanie. And delighted at the love and affection so many people have offered us.

But now bed. As a long, exciting journey awaits. And an early start is needed. Cloud we come.

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