Mum of six boys had a girlie surprise waiting…
My boys darted around the house, play fighting and knocking into everything in their path. ‘Dinner’s ready,’ I called, bracing myself for the stampede.
With six sons under the age of 15, meal times usually resembled feeding time at the zoo.
My eldest, Ben, 14, and his brother, Cameron, 13, shared a bedroom, and dragging them away from their Xbox and Minecraft game was a battle in itself.
While Lewis, 11, Leighton, 10, and Keiran, nine, hated to sit still.
My youngest, Ollie, five, was my shadow and was constantly glued to my hip. Holding him with one arm, I’d have to cook with the other.
Every evening, I was exhausted and things were about to get even more manic. I was seven months gone with my seventh child.
My husband Dan, 39, and I loved the rough and tumble that came with having a house full of boys, but I had to admit, I had always longed to have a little girl.
‘I expect you’ll be another boy,’ I said, stroking my bump.
Dan and I had first met in a nightclub in February 2002 and things had moved fast.
Within eight weeks I’d moved in with him and his mum, Eileen, and soon after, fell pregnant. We were both over the moon. At our 20-week scan we were told we were having a little girl, but after looking at the screen, the sonographer looked concerned and said: ‘There’s no fluid around your baby and she’s not growing as we’d hope.’
We were given two choices - either let nature run its course or terminate the pregnancy.
Dan and I wanted to give our unborn baby a fighting chance so we decided to wait and see what happened.
After some bleeding at 28 weeks, we feared the worst, but our baby held on until 34 weeks.
I went into labour just as I finished making a spaghetti bolognaise for
dinner, and when she came into the world, we got a huge surprise.
‘It’s a boy!’ the midwife announced.
Weighing just 2lbs 8oz, our son Ben was whisked away to NICU.
He had a punctured lung, a bleed on the brain and needed a chest drain, spending six weeks in hospital before we were finally able to take him home with us.
A healthy little boy was such a blessing.
With my next pregnancy, I even told the sonographer that I was having a boy before she did!
I saw it as a bonus to know our next baby could have all of Ben’s hand-me-downs.
In October 2003, our son Cameron arrived, weighing 4lbs 15oz after I was induced two days early.
In time, Dan and I decided to add to our family and I quickly fell pregnant again. ‘It’s a girl!’ we were told. We named her Leah and shopped for pink.
Only, Leah turned out to be another little boy.
‘Wrong for a second time,’ I laughed.
Little Lewis weighed 5lbs 7oz and came out with a tuft of dark brown hair. Soon little Leighton added to our brood in February 2007, followed by Kieran in April 2008. In September 2010, we were heartbroken when another little boy was stillborn 21 weeks into my pregnancy. We named him Harrison and we all cried when I came home from hospital empty-handed. Dan and I thought our family was complete, but we felt so lucky when Ollie was born in December 2011, four weeks early, weighing just 4lbs 10oz. Although I desperately wanted to keep going until Dan and I finally had a little girl, I knew it might never happen for us. Our threebedroom house was bursting at the seams. But in September 2014, I was carrying another baby. ‘Does your pregnancy feel any different?’ the midwife asked at my 20 week scan. ‘It does,’ I realised. This time, I couldn’t keep any food down surviving on a diet of ham sandwiches alone - even a cup of tea left me feeling queasy.
‘Why do you ask anyway?’ I said to the sonographer. ‘It’s a little girl,’ she smiled. ‘Are you sure?’ I asked. She nodded and my heart burst. ‘It’s finally happening,’ I cried. I popped to the shop on the hospital site and picked up a pair of pink booties.
‘So...?’ Dan prompted, as I walked through the door.
I chucked the baby shoes in his direction. ‘We’re having a girl.’
‘But we’ve been told this before,’ he said, cautiously.
Determined not to get our hopes up, we didn’t buy anything in pink, just in case.
But in April 2015, Freyah was born via c-section at Bath’s Royal United Hospital, five weeks premature and weighing 3lbs 12oz.
She is now two, and is quite a tomboy. The boys are very protective of their little sister.
I dread to think what they will be like when she brings home her first boyfriend one day.
Dan and I had always wanted a
No longer out numbered!
Our family is complete