My first baby arrived a week early. Being my first and running my own business this was VERY unexpected and not part of "the plan". I was definitely expecting, and hoping for, a late baby. Someone said "easier in, than out". It is so true. My contractions started around mid-morning, it was the weekend, and so I quickly did the last few jobs on the "to do" list, including cleaning the oven. I called my midwife, who finished the conversation with "see you tomorrow maybe". My husband and I went out for lunch to fill in time, and then contractions started increasing quickly. We delayed as long as we thought we should and arrived at Auckland hospital around 7:30pm. I was examined by a hospital midwife who said I was 3cm dilated. She seemed a little put out that I had arrived so early and suggested we go for a walk. I was reluctant to, but did as I was told. I got about ten meters down the hall and had a huge contraction which started about 10 minutes of almost constant vomiting. I am not quite sure how I got back to the room, but I did. And my daughter arrived about 20 minutes later. My midwife barely walked through the door in time. I have very few memories of the experience. It all happened so quickly. There were no ice cubes, music, candles, massages. It was nothing like what I expected. I am glad it was natural and there were no complications and that we had a beautiful baby, but more time would have been nice. I had some tearing and several stitches, and terrible haemorrhoids several days later.