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3 Christmas birth stories

3 mums tell us all about their experiences of having their babies on Christmas Day!

Posted: 25 December 2007
by Catherine Bruton

Emma Holmes, 27, from West Sussex is married to Alan and mum to Faith, who will celebrate her first birthday on Christmas Eve. She says last Christmas was the best ever ­ but also the weirdest!

Birth facts
Baby's nameFaith Elizabeth
Weight 6lb 6oz
Length of labour34 hours
Pain reliefTENS, epidural
Worst bitWhen they were trying to get the needle in for the drip!
Best bit Holding Faith and seeing my baby for the very first time

Emma and Faith
Faith wasn't due until 6 January, so when my waters broke two weeks early it was a complete shock! There was nothing to suggest I would go into labour early, but my mum was convinced that this was to be a Christmas baby.

On 23 December, Alan was just about to put up some curtains in the nursery when I felt my waters go. Although I had no contractions I had to go straight to the hospital because earlier tests had revealed that I carry Strep B. This meant I had to be given antibiotics early in labour to prevent the condition being passed to the baby. Because I wasn't yet contracting they decided to induce me, so I was put straight onto a syntocinon drip. I remember it took five attempts to get the needle in, which was awful. I'd used a TENS machine for a sports injury and found it very effective so I started off using just that, but it really didn¹t work for me in labour.

I¹d wanted a natural labour, but syntocinon makes contractions incredibly painful and six hours into the induction I asked for an epidural. It was fine after that. I remember watching the final of Strictly Come Dancing hooked up to a monitor, on which I could see the contractions peak and fall although I couldn¹t feel them. The midwives were concerned that I wasn¹t contracting properly and they didn¹t think I could get to 10cm. They said they¹d leave me till 10pm then take me to theatre. However, when they came back I was fully dilated! Unfortunately Faith was in the back-to-back position. Her spine was locked into mine and no matter how hard I pushed she just didn¹t seem to want to come out.

I was told it would have to be a Caesarean delivery and taken down to theatre. We got down there and I was all psyched up for a C-section. They decided to have one last go at a forceps delivery, and to everyone¹s surprise ­ including mine ­ it worked. So my baby was born in the wee small hours of Christmas Eve! The first thing I remember was being told "It's a girl!", which was so funny as everyone had been convinced I was carrying a boy! Because she was early they whisked her away to check everything was OK, but finally they brought her to me and that was so nice I burst into tears!

I had torn quite badly and had to be stitched, so Alan held her while that was going on as I was still in shock and frightened I might drop her. Then I was wheeled to the post-natal ward with my baby in my arms. Faith was conceived on Good Friday and born on Christmas Eve so her name just seemed to make sense somehow! We were concerned she might have to go to the NICU, but she was fine and didn¹t even need to have antibiotics for the Strep B. So, 10 hours after she was born, I asked if I could go home. My father-in-law also has his birthday on Christmas Eve, and you can imagine his surprise when he opened the door to find his new granddaughter had come to his party!

Alan's parents cooked our turkey for us on Christmas Eve and the next day we ate cold turkey and jacket potatoes and celebrated Christmas not as a couple but as a family! I spent most of the day lying on the sofa, gazing at Faith.

We realised afterwards that we didn't really take any pictures of her first Christmas ­ we were both too tired. We didn't really have any clothes that fitted her as she was really small, and all the newborn things we'd bought swamped her!

I can't wait for this Christmas and starting new family traditions. Faith will have three parties because we want her to be able to celebrate her birthday properly, even though it¹s Christmas. All the family want to see her, so we¹ll be having everyone over to ours for Christmas Day.

1 2 Next page: Tracy's birth story 3 Next page: Sylvia's birth story

This story first appeared in the February 2008 issue of our magazine, Pregnancy, Baby and You.

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