I had a relatively long labour and spent the day at home whilst having contractions using a TENS machine for pain relief. We went to the hospital in the evening and I used gas and air for a couple of hours, after which I went into the birthing pool for several hours. The midwife broke my waters when I was fully dilated and as there was meconium present I couldn't go back in the birthing pool so returned to the delivery suite and was monitored from there on. I had a prolonged second stage as the baby was in an awkward position and due to damage sustained during her birth I was taken straight to theatre after she was born.
My partner was very supportive and was happy to go with my decisions. It was very comforting to know that he was looking after her whilst I wasn't there, although I found it difficult not to be able to hold her straight away. As I had a short stay in hospital following the birth I did find it difficult that my partner could only come in during visiting hours and I know it was hard for him to have to leave us there every day.