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Blanka, mother of one (born 2012), hometown Oxford

Very quick labour, 3 hours of contractions, all in the midwife-led unit of the local hospital. Although I didn't think so during labour, it was a lovely experience and in hindsight all very quick. Arrived in hospital 45 minutes before baby daughter was born, was fully dilated at the time. Husband was present throughout the labour and watched the baby being born (from the head end!). After the baby arrived, we waited for the placenta to be delivered whilst cord was still attached. My husband was asked if he wanted to cut the cord and although beforehand he'd have though he wouldn't do it, he did in the end. Birth was followed by skin contact and both of us being left in the room to enjoy the company of our baby. There was no rush to ask my husband to leave the hospital although visiting hours strictly speaking finished at 9pm (he left about 11.30pm, after a 7.30pm birth).