Girl Power

Mum of six boys had a girlie sur­prise wait­ing…

Pick Me Up! Special - - Contents - Louise Nut­ley, 33, Frome

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

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