My pregnancy was complication free and smooth sailing until 36 weeks. I went in for a blood test and was informed that my liver enzymes were elevated to 8x higher than what is considered 'normal'. I then had to go into the hospital twice a week for regular blood tests and CTG scans. I had no symptoms and felt really good, so it was strange being told that there was something wrong with one of my vital organs. At 38 weeks one of the doctors strongly recommended an induction as they still couldn't give me a diagnosis. My husband and I had a tough decision to make, accept the doctors recommendation to be induced early in the hopes that my liver would come right once the baby was out, or continue with our birth plan which was to have a natural, intervention free birth. After seeking advice from friends & family, and receiving prayer from our church community, we decided to continue with our birth plan, with some minor adjustments. We agreed to have regular monitoring including twice weekly blood tests & CTG scans, we also had to have an induction date booked between 40 and 41 weeks.

At 5:00pm on my due date I started having noticeable contractions, they were irregular, but coming approximately every 20 minutes. The contractions continued throughout the night, but I managed to get about 6 hours of broken sleep. The next morning I was hungry, I ate breakfast and continued to have more regular contractions, they were now roughly every 10 minutes. My Mum arrived from out of town around 9:00am and we had a full day of activity, we walked up and down the stairs on the City-to-Sea Bridge, had coffee & scones at Nikau cafe, went to the Art Gallery, did a supermarket shop at Moore Wilsons, played a card game called 'Spot It', ate nachos for dinner, watched a movie, all whilst having these 1-in-10 minute contractions. I also loved the swiss-ball, and was the only form of 'pain relief' I used whilst at home.

At 9.00pm we contacted our midwife to let her know the contractions were still quite far apart, and the pain was still tolerable. She didn't think anything was going to happen that night and suggested a hot shower, heat pack, panadol, and bed. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep through these contractions, as they had certainly progressed from the ones I was having the night before. I did what I was told though and as soon as I got into bed I had my first really intense contraction. I grabbed my husband's hand and let out a groan, he immediately started timing and I had 3 contractions in approximately 12 minutes. The goal was 3-in-10 minutes for an hour. We managed 45 minutes before calling the midwife again. The contractions were really intense now, and were approximately 3 minutes apart. We arrived at the hospital just after 10:00pm and were ushered into one of the delivery rooms. All I wanted was to get back on the swiss-ball to relieve that intense pressure I could feel in my pelvis. The one in our delivery room was flat so my midwife went off to find another. After finding a swiss-ball, taking my blood pressure, filling in paperwork etc. my midwife performed an internal examination to make sure we really did need to be at the hospital. She was shocked to discover that I was already 9cm dilated! We were in hospital for less than 2 hours and I only pushed for 25 minutes before our son was born at 11:55pm on the 27 February (the day after my due date!). We had a 100% natural, intervention, drug free birth and couldn't be more proud!