Kaye Huett, 27, a graphic designer, lives in Wiltshire with her partner Martin and son Archie, 22 months.
I’ve always loved Christmas. Even before I had Archie, I’d wake every Christmas morning at 5am, and not be able to get back to sleep because I was so excited! So when I found out I was due on December 20, I was delighted. A Christmas baby would really add to the magic.
But my excitement turned to worry after the first midwife appointment, when I was told my BMI was low. It meant I’d have to be under the care of a consultant, with extra scans and a medicalised labour on the delivery suite. I’d had my heart set on a natural delivery at the birth centre, but there was no chance of that now.
I kept focused on eating healthily, to help the baby grow, and at 35 weeks we were thrilled when my consultant said the baby’s growth was on track. Questions over what kind of labour I’d be able to have still remained, though.
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December 20 came and went, so we continued with our preparations. My parents and my nan were coming to our house, and Martin was going to cook for all of us. But all that went on hold on Christmas Eve.
My midwife discovered my blood pressure was high and I was in danger of pre-eclampsia. I was sent straight to hospital for a possible induction. It was panic stations, but when we arrived at the hospital, we learned the baby and I were fine and didn’t need to be induced. I was given a sweep and told to rest.
That evening we wandered around the supermarket buying mince pies
That evening we wandered around the supermarket buying mince pies, while Fairytale of New York blared out over the Tannoy. Later, at home, I settled down to watch Jingle all the Way. After a while, I began to feel mild cramps, which were my labour starting. By 2.30am the contractions were coming regularly.
Sitting on my birthing ball beside the Christmas tree, I breathed deeply through each contraction. By 4am I could barely speak, so Martin called the hospital, and we were told to come in. When we arrived, I was examined and found to be 5cm dilated. An hour later, the consultant agreed to let me go to the midwife-led birthing centre to have the natural birth I wanted.
Bing Crosby was crooning away in the background, wishing us all ‘a merry little Christmas’
My room was huge, with a comfy sofa bed and birthing pool. Bing Crosby was crooning away in the background, wishing us all ‘a merry little Christmas’. At 12.30pm I was fully dilated and ready to push. When the baby’s head still hadn’t emerged after two hours, I started to panic.
‘The baby’s not in the right position,’ the midwife said. ‘We might need help here.’ Through sheer determination, I found the strength to push with more energy. Suddenly, the head was out, followed by the body. My beautiful baby was placed onto my chest, screaming and wriggling like a little octopus! Archie weighed 6lb 9oz.
After all the worry, I was over the moon that I was able to have the birth I longed for. We went home that day. Mum and Dad had saved us Christmas lunch, and after tucking in, we sat around the tree and opened our presents. It was a surreal end to an amazing day!
Kaye blogs at helloarchie.blue