Real life: The womb that went zoom! The early labour signs we didn't see coming

'The hospital said it could be days before my baby arrived. But not everyone got the message.'

By As told to Take 5

Kimberley Dodds, 25, tells her story.

I glanced at the little white stick sitting in my hand and blinked hard.
I thought, Is that what I think it is?
Ever since my partner Adam and I had started trying for a baby, I'd taken a pregnancy test every day.
Up to now, the result had been negative, but now I could see two very faint lines.
I didn't know if it was good news or not, so the next day I had another go- and this time there was no doubting the result.
I showed Adam and squealed, 'We're having a baby!'
We were both thrilled.
My pregnancy went smoothly and at 16 weeks we discovered I was having a little girl.
'What about the name Olivia?' Adam suggested.
'I love it!' I said.
Then, one morning when I was 38 weeks gone, I was woken by a sharp pain in my side. It felt like someone was stabbing me.
But just as suddenly as it started, it stopped, so I lay down and went back to sleep.
Then it happened again.
Baby Olivia. Pictures exclusive to Take 5
I woke up Adam and told him I kept getting these strange pains.
I ran a bath and got in, hoping it would make me more comfortable, but the pain only got worse.
I shouted for Adam and he helped me out of the bath and on to the bed, where the pains just got stronger and stronger.
'We have to go to the hospital. Now!' I said.
By the time we got there, I was in agony. I was taken into a room and a midwife examined me.
'You're in labour,' she said. 'But you're only one centimetre dilated so far.'
'Another day!' I gasped, panting through a contraction.
'Or more,' she said. 'You need to go home.'
I couldn't believe it.
I was in agony and the thought of enduring another 24 hours of the same pain was almost more than I could take.
As Adam drove me home from the hospital, I gripped the headrest of the car until my knuckles turned white.
He helped me up the stairs, but when we reached our bedroom, I simply couldn't go any further. Instead I dropped to my knees, holding on to the end of the bed and wincing.
I thought: I feel like I'm dying. How can this be early labour?
Adam was so worried, he called my mum Debra.
I could hear him saying: 'I don't know what's happening.'
She lived nearby, so she came around straight away.
As soon as she got through the front door and heard my screams, she raced upstairs.
'The baby's coming, get some towels,' she said to Adam as she tried to calm me down.
Then I felt a strange sensation between my legs.
I felt with my hand and gasped.
'There's a head!'
Me, Adam and Olivia. Pictures exclusive to Take 5
Adam dialled 000 and put the operator on speakerphone.
'My girlfriend is in labour,' he said.
The operator started giving me instructions on how to breathe through my contractions, but as Adam got behind me, I realised it was too late for that.
I gave one almighty push and my baby flew out and into Adam's waiting hands.
All of this happened less than an hour after we had been sent home from the hospital.
'Is she OK?' I said.
A loud cry gave me my answer.
Mum was in floods of tears and that set me off, too.
By the time the paramedics arrived, I was still in shock.
'Everything happened so quickly,' I said.
We were taken to hospital to be checked out. Luckily, everything was fine and the next day we went home again.
As I stared at the patch of carpet where Olivia was born, I still couldn't really believe what had happened.
One minute I was being told I'd just started labour, the next my baby went pop.
Now Olivia is five weeks old and thriving. She's a wonderful baby and I absolutely adore being her mum.
When I have another one, I'd love another home birth.
But next time, I hope it will be more planned!

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