Tina Tacey, 25, thought a baby would get in the way of her love for Christmas Day - but has found out it makes things even more fun...
When was your due date?
When we first found out I was pregnant my due date was New Year, but then it changed at the dating scan to Boxing Day.
How did you feel about the prospect of a Christmas baby?
I have to admit I wasn't too happy! I'm a little bit of a big kid and adore Christmas, so for the whole nine months I was praying for any day but Christmas Day... but as my due date was Boxing Day, I obviously contemplated every outcome!
What happened on Christmas morning?
I had been to hospital a week before with labour pains and it all seemed to be 'happening', but then nothing. I woke up on Christmas morning really early - at about 5am - like I do every year! I have a thing I do every Christmas and I wasn't going to let pregnancy stop me: I always watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and wait for the rest of the house to get up. So I did that, then we got dinner ready and tidied the house. I didn't feel right, but more poorly than in labour. We had 'the works' for Christmas lunch, although I didn't eat it all.
You went for a lie down – what happened?
We watched some TV, then I started to feel really unwell, so I went upstairs and as soon as I lay down, I felt this huge pressure in my abdomen and what sounded to me like a cracking sound. I thought I'd broken a rib, but it was actually baby's head descending: my waters had been slowly releasing so I didn't have the normal 'gush'.
I shouted for my husband, Nick and told him we had to go to the hospital. We left almost immediately because within minutes I went from having no contractions to having really painful ones every 30 seconds!
What happened when you got to the hospital?
We met my midwife, and I was given a wheelchair because I just couldn't walk through the contractions. The whole labour process was very quick. I got to hospital at 4.45pm and not long after that I started on the gas and air. At about 6.45pm, the midwife told us that this part could take up to eight hours but we'd definitely have a baby by the end of Christmas Day. So she got a bit of a shock just after 7pm when I told her I needed to push!
How did you feel when you saw your little boy for the first time?
Our baby boy Louen was born at 7.24pm on Christmas Day in Yeovil Hospital, weighing a healthy 7lbs 1oz. He was placed on my chest and it's a little hazy but I remember staring at him and smiling the entire time.
And the look on Nick's face proved he was a little miracle - he's not normally very emotional but he was crying! And when I looked outside, the hills were still covered with snow. It was a beautiful moment - one I'll never, ever forget.
What does it mean to you having a Christmas baby?
I was overjoyed and shocked, as it was a little bit unexpected! I had gone to antenatal classes and read all the books but my experience was nothing like the ones I'd heard about: it was relatively easy, I have to say. Not exactly pain-free, but I think I was one of the lucky ones!
And I had a beautiful Christmas gift - after all my wishing and hoping not to have a Christmas Day baby, I'm really glad he had arrived on such a special day. I think every baby born is a miracle but Louen felt extra special.
How will you be celebrating this year?
We are really going for it! I normally put some decorations up - but this year it will be the whole house. On Christmas Day itself, Louen will have a present on the end of his bed in the morning, then more presents during the day. We'll have Christmas lunch, then an afternoon tea, and Louen can open all his birthday presents then. But as it's Christmas and not all our family can make it to the birthday celebrations, we'll celebrate again in April (when we had Louen's naming day earlier this year). We're planning a big Mickey Mouse themed party - I can't wait!
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