When Sophia Andrews became pregnant again, she was hoping for both an easy birth and a little boy, following three little girls and three difficult births! Here she tells us how she got her wish.
Why were your first three births so difficult?
My first three children were very big babies, all around the 9 pound mark! I am very petite so big babies were even more of an issue for me.
Did you need assisted deliveries?
Yes - my first child was ventouse and forceps, my second was forceps; and my third was ventouse. It was only after I had my son that I realised the degree of assistance had been in decline! I should have taken that a sign I suppose, but I didn't. I just dreaded the birth for the whole nine months!
How was the pregnancy?
In my case, it was definitely true that you feel less sick when carrying a boy. I'd heard this rumour quite a lot when pregnant with my girls, so when I sailed through my pregnancy, I did wonder if I was having a son. I felt very well and the sickness was confined to the odd day here and there. Towards the end it was a bit of a struggle, but it always is.
And were you hoping for a boy?
I knew I would have liked a boy having had three girls, but all I wanted was a healthy baby. That was at the top of my wish list - although in at number two was the hope for a boy. Apart from anything I thought he'd be company for my husband!
When did you go into labour?
Again, a different experience to the previous three. They had all been overdue by nearly two weeks, but I went into labour with my son two days overdue. I wasn't at all prepared as I was expecting to go on much longer. Also, I was much smaller this time, which was another reason why I thought I'd go seriously overdue. I was waiting for him to bulk up a bit!
When did you realised you were in labour?
As with all of my labours, things started very slowly. I was actually waddling around the supermarket when I first started to feel some tightenings and twinges. I ignored them until I got back home, by which point I knew it was all beginning. It wasn't until 24 hours later that I felt in real pain, and that's when I was told by the midwife to go to hospital. Up until then I had been happy at home and it wasn't too bad at all.
What happened next?
It was all a bit of a whirlwind! By some miracle I was 7cms dilated! However, I was starting to feel a lot of pain very quickly, so I opted for an epidural. Unfortunately, it took so long to turn up that by the time it did, I had started to push. But that wasn't really the hospital's fault - in one hour I'd gone from 7cms to 10cms!
How did that feel?
Wonderful. I knew I could do it without pain relief as, in my experience, that is the worst part pain-wise. I knew I just had to grit my teeth and push like a woman possessed and it would all be over.
And how long did it take?
From the first push to the last - about fifteen minutes. It was brilliant. My daughters had all got stuck and I'd pushed for over an hour with all of them. I couldn't quite believe what a mercifully benign time I'd had of it! And he was 'only' eight pounds - so I'm sure that had a lot to do with it!
When did you realise you'd had a son?!
The baby came out and there was an almighty scream...I think that's when I knew! The girls had all been fairly repressed with their cries, but this was a belter! He was passed to me and my husband confirmed the news that Marcus had arrived. We were over the moon!
How was it meeting the new man in your life?
An absolutely wonderful, awe-inspiring, amazing moment. I wish I could bottle that feeling and sell it - I'd be a millionaire!