Wow, thank you so much for all your responses! I think there is nothing better than hearing firsthand from woman who have actually given birth and hearing what they have to say. Please keep the stories coming as I love reading them.
Just to follow up on that post, I do intend to have a birth plan or at least have written down my views on certain things. It won't be strict and I fully intend to let my midwife know that when it comes to the end result all I want is for this baby to be delivered safe and sound and healthy and for me to come out of it alive (that may sound overly dramatic but you know what I mean!). I am happy to have a c-section under recommendation and drugs if I ask for them and my midwife agrees that they would be helpful. I don't want pethidine (decided this ages ago) but would be open to gas and an epidural as a last resort. I know that my midwife is one of those woman who is an advocate for natural births and letting the body do what it has been designed to do, so I won't have any issues with her trying to push drugs on me, rather I believe it would be the other way around! Having said that though, she has about 35 years experience as a midwife so she certainly knows what she is talking about. I also know that due to friends experiences at this particular hospital that I need to be vocal about not letting the labour go on for too long if things aren't going to plan and things are turning pear shaped. I know two woman who have given birth here who went for hours over what they should have before having to have an emergency c-section, so I intend to speak to my midwife about this as I don't want that to happen to me. I just hope my asthma behaves itself as well. I have an appointment with a specialist soon to discuss the best approach to managing the labour due to this as my midwife doesn't want me taking my ventolin the week prior to my due date or during the labour itself, as it's been known to delay labour and could end in me needing to be induced, as well as slow down my progress during labour. My asthma is under control at the moment though but any kind of strenuous activity aggravates it and I imagine giving birth would be strenuous, so I need to keep that in mind too.
What other things do I need to take into consideration after the birth? There have been mentions of cutting the cord, leaving the cord attached for longer, skin to skin contact, if a c-section is required does the HG go with the baby or stay with me etc. All these things I have only just seen pop up in the comments and I had no idea I needed to be contemplating them. Can you guys please let me know all things that come to mind that I need to take into consideration when mapping out my plan? Thanks so much ladies!