There's a new, very special little person in my life and her name is Rosalind.
You know they say that for most people the moment you look into your child's eyes you just know. You know that you'd do anything to protect them and that from that moment on everything else pales and they are the brightest thing in the room.
When I saw that wrinkled, slightly purple, covered in blood and gunk, face starting at me over the lowered screen and I looked into the bluest eyes, I knew. I knew that everything had changed and love at first sight really did exist.
But first we have to get to that moment and it wasn't as quick as I'd hoped it would be.
It all started on Tuesday 17th April. I'd been successful at keeping my induction date a secret. Even though I'd shared everything else on social media I wanted this to be a bit of a surprise and also to keep a few hours just to ourselves as a new family.
We drove to the hospital full of hope that the induction process would be quick as I'd had a sweep the previous week and they'd found that I was already 1cm dilated. I'd been bouncing away on the ball and drinking lots of raspberry leaf tea in preparation all week.
When we arrived we were shown to a bed on a ward, and after the doctor had made his rounds I had the first pessary inserted and prepared myself for a whole lot of walking and bouncing to speed the process along.
It wasn't long before I started to feel like something was happening, and quickly became apparent that, no these weren't still hicks and yes I was actually having contractions. It was only once that had been confirmed that I accepted some painkillers. Can you believe I was worried that if it wasn't painful then it couldn't be true?
At around 11pm they moved me from Triage up to the Labour Ward and Leigh and I settled in for the night sharing the single hospital bed as I didn't want to go into labour and for him to be at home.
At 4.30am one of the other women on the ward started having difficulties and the emergency alarm was sounded flooding the room with staff. I clung desperately to Leigh trying to keep calm so I didn't scare the oxytocin away and my contractions with it.
I woke up the next morning and panicked because they seemed to have gone but after a few ball bounces they were back in force. Leigh had driven the short distance home to pick up some more clothes and whilst he was gone another lady started having strong contractions and the room was filled with ten staff doing their rounds and it all became a bit much so I plugged in to my nature sounds soundtrack, closed my eyes and focused on my breathing. Next thing I know I opened my eyes to them all in my room, crowding round the bed.
It all became a bit much and once they left I started to cry, which is how Leigh then found me when he returned. On the bed crying, and having regular contractions. I was still trying not to be too loud because I was still on a ward and didn't want to disturb the other women but by the time it came to take the pessary out I was ready to be told I could be moved to my own room.
Inhaling on the gas and air the midwife checked my dilation and I promptly burst into more hysterical tears when she told me that I was still only 1cm dilated. Nothing had changed and there was only one chance left before a C section. I felt like a complete failure and I was exhausted already, not a good start to motherhood.
Leigh calmed me down and reassured me that it would be ok, because no matter what we would have our baby by Sunday at the latest. We'd originally assumed that we'd be allowed home during the 24hr rest period but because of the gestational diabetes they told me I wasn't allowed to leave so they moved me to the postnatal ward where there was a free room for my 24hrs of rest. I was still having contractions so we went for a walk around the hospital and I finally got to have a shower.
We woke up on Thursday morning, day four at the hospital to find that my contractions had vanished, but I was hopeful that the second pessary would kick start them again. Nothing that a shower and half decent nights sleep won't fix and I was feeling upbeat again. It was even better when we went back to the Labour Ward, this time managing to secure the only 'private' room on the ward. No more 4.30am drama!
The midwife popped in to see me and they fitted the second pessary, whilst sweltering in the sudden hot weather. And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. But absolutely nothing happened. Not a twinge or a tightening to be felt.
We went to bed feeling a little let down and I started to prepare myself mentally for the thought that a C Section was looking more likely. Leigh kept telling me to have hope but I needed to get my head around the fact I may not have the birth that I had originally planned and had envisioned my whole life.
Due to emergency after emergency the midwives and doctors were very late to see me, and it was 4am on Saturday morning when I was finally moved to a delivery suite to finally be examined. This was the moment of truth. If I was more than 1cm they were going to break my waters, if not then it would be a C section.
I knew before she'd even said anything that nothing had changed but she confirmed it. I was still 1cm and they'd get me in to theatre in the morning for a C Section. Our baby would not be born naturally. I felt surprisingly ok about it, I think the fact that I had prepared myself and also the fact I was exhausted and very ready to meet our baby helped. The best thing to do now was try and get some sleep before our baby was born.
I managed to get a couple of hours before getting up to film the sunrise on my baby's birthday and I called my best friend for some 'oh my god I'm about to be a mum' chats in which we mostly just discussed if we thought baby would have blue or brown eyes. It helped take my mind off the impending surgery though.
At around 8am the midwife arrived with my hospital gown and cap and Leigh's scrubs. I was starving by this point having fasted since 7pm the previous evening just in case they needed to do a section straight away and I was also starting to get a little bit nervous.
This only amplified when I walked into theatre and saw the sterile environment. But I kept reminding myself that at least this wasn't an emergency situation and I could have a chat with the doctors whilst they prepped me. My biggest fear had been an emergency caesarean with no time for a regional anaesthetic and having to be put under instead and miss the birth. This wasn't going to happen so it helped ease the fears.
Feeling my legs go numb was a weird sensation, as well as not being able to see a thing once they put the sheet up. They did a couple of tests to make sure I was good to go and then the strangest 5 minutes took place where I could feel movement but no pain and lots of pushing and pulling.
And then I heard them exclaim, followed by a loud cry and then there baby was. Peering at me over the lowered screen whilst I sobbed.
We'd put in my birth plan that I wanted Leigh to be the one to tell me the sex and also to cut the cord so he went off to cut it and take some pictures leaving me to be stitched back up. He'd been gone a couple of minutes and I still didn't know if we had a boy or a girl!
I called him back and he told me with tears in his eyes that we had a baby girl, which set me off crying again, and I didn't stop even when she was placed on my chest.
Rosalind Neve Goulding was born at 9.17am on Saturday 21st April weighing a delicious 7lb 1oz despite scares the whole way through that she was going to be a tiny baby. I knew straight away that the name we'd picked was perfect just like her little face.
They finished stitching me up and I was then wheeled through to recovery where we finally got to have some skin to skin and attempt to feed. To my relief she latched on first time, which set Leigh off again, he was so pleased for me that she seemed to know what to do straight away.
We stayed in recovery for about two hours, before calling immediate family to let them know that their granddaughter and neice was finally here. They wheeled me through to postnatal after checking I was recovering, and to my 6th bed in the hospital since my arrival where it was hotter than the sun, and we started to get to know our little girl.
And that's what we've been doing for the 10 days. Figuring out life with a newborn and realising that nothing is ever going to be the same again and that we wouldn't have it any other way.
My daughter (which I LOVE saying) is just the most perfect human being I've ever seen. I know I'm biased but I get teary and lovestruck just looking at her. I don't want her to grow up because I love her this size but in the same breath I keep day dreaming about the rest of our lives together and imagining her as an adult. I keep staring at her, trying to commit her face to memory.
She's my little Rosie girl, and she was worth every single trial of pregnancy. I have never loved anything more.