My home waterbirth story and video

13 Nov

To say I was excited about the arrival of our second child was an understatement. We had been given a due date of the 17th October and as this day came and went I started to get frustrated, aargh, I thought to myself, she’s supposed to be on time, after all my first little girl was born on her due date, so I’ve never had to wait for a baby before! I started to think that my dates were wrong and as I flicked through my maternity notes I remembered I had originally been given a due date of the 23rd October, maybe the 17th was wrong after all? Relaxed and confident that she would come when she was ready, I found myself been chilled and calm about the whole affair.

I had been experiencing some very mild start/stop contractions for a few days leading up to my birth and on the 17th I was booked in to see my midwife, Liz. Once there, she suggested I have a sweep to see if she could help get things moving, whilst examining me, I was informed I was dilated by 2 cm. I went home and continued to have these mild contractions for the next 2 nights, each time waking up with butterflies thinking ‘this is it’ however 10 minutes later, I would fall back asleep and wake up still pregnant, another false alarm I thought.

20131113-181858.jpg me and Eivissa at a midwife appointment

Then on monday 21st at 6.30am, I woke up with a sense of urgency that today was the day, I woke Danny and told him that I was having what I thought were contractions, they were very mild and not painful, we quickly got the stop watch out and started timing, every 4 minutes they were happening and this continued for a couple of hours. We’d already decided on a home waterbirth and the pool was all set up at the foot of our bed ready to be filled with water. Danny leapt into action and grabbed his hose and attached it to the taps and started to fill the birth pool. Mum and Dad arrived at 8.30 to take our other daughter, Eivissa, leaving Danny and I alone.
With the pool half full, I noticed my contractions slowed down to 10 minutes apart and then down to 20 minutes apart, I was convinced that this was it, perhaps, I was too relaxed so we decided to head to the supermarket to see if a bit of activity might help. As soon as we got there at 12.15 pm I was hit by a big contraction that made me stop in my tracks. I knew something was happening and whilst Danny hurried round the shop I found myself on the crisp isle having contractions every few minutes, I’m not having my baby in between the quavers and watsits I thought so I grabbed Danny and off home we went. On the way home I called the midwife and told her what was going on but I could tell by the tone in her voice that she wasn’t convinced I was in labour, after all, who goes shopping whilst in labour? The protocol when you advise the midwife of your labour is that they come out to assess you to see where your at, I think she thought she would be leaving after checking me over as to look at me, you wouldn’t think I was about to give birth. After a very quick examination it was found I was dilated by 3cm, she decided to stick around for a couple of contractions.

It was my time now, I had been planning this birth for a long time and I knew I had to get into my zone, I had been preparing my mind and body to do what I believed it could do, my music was on, candles were lit and I felt very relaxed in both mind and body. After 3 contractions my waters broke, this was at 1.30pm, the midwife took her coat off and announced she was staying.
Danny got the pool to the correct temperature and I put my birthing outfit on I as soon as I got in I felt so comfy, the sun was shining in through the windows and Danny was holding me closely, I felt so in control, my surroundings were perfect and the sound of the gentle music and smell of the scented candles took me into an almost subconscious relaxed state. I didn’t know how long it would take to get to 10cm, all I knew is that the contractions were becoming more frequent and more intense as the minutes went by.

Even though the midwife was in the room, I felt completely alone with Danny, he was in tune with my wants and needs and everything that I wanted from this birth I knew he wanted for me too, if two people are pulling in the same direction then momentum will form and it becomes harder to penetrate. The midwife just sat back observing everything, her relaxed state gave me confidence everything was going well. After an hour or so I felt a huge amount of pressure in my bottom and I felt like I wanted to push, the midwife called for a second midwife as I think we all knew this baby was coming very soon.

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Three strong contractions came and with one big push I felt her head come out, I maintained my focus and listened to what my body was telling me, with one more push, my beautiful little angel arrived into our world, guided out by our amazing midwife and at 2.50pm our little girl, Cataleya Lilliana Greig weighing 7lb 7oz was finally here. I couldn’t believe it, everything that we had hoped and prayed for was finally here.
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Cataleya Lilianna Greig

I felt no pain at all as she came out, she went behind me so I couldn’t see her, the midwife guided her out, baby and I both got a bit tangled in the cord and I imagine it was quite a picture watching us untangle ourselves.
We had reached the ultimate climate of mankind and we were so overwhelmed by the love that this precious life had brought us that all we could do was cry tears of joy, there isn’t a word that’s been invented for the amount of love we had for our beautiful, beautiful baby girl.

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My Beautiful girl

The moments after were so special, I just sat there in the pool with Danny’s arms cradling baby and I, our little girl was just nestling on my chest taking in her new surroundings. I waited for the cord to finish pulsating then Danny cut the chord and I transferred myself to the bed to deliver the placenta. I opted to deliver the placenta naturally and with a few tightening feelings in my stomach, it was all out.
Straight away she started to feed off my milk and she latched on very easily which was a lovely feeling as I love breastfeeding.
The midwife then gave me a quick check and cleaned up the bed and I was all set, I didn’t need any stitches which was a welcome relief and we were just left alone to enjoy our new addition.

I remember sitting there, completely in awe of my body and thankful for my experience, I truly believe that all the preparation that Danny and I had done over the last few years, praying, believing and being in complete faith for this experience is testament that it can be. If you apply your mind to anything then it can be achieved, too many people try and scare you with the horror stories and I’m living proof that it doesn’t have to be that way, I’m not special, Nor am I better than anyone else, I don’t have the magic formula and I can’t say that if you follow what I did then you will have the same results, all I can say is, why not give it a shot, hey, who knows maybe we can change what the worlds view of childbirth has become.

20131113-161112.jpgEivissa with Cataleya

If you are considering a home birth then I highly recommend it, I was sent the ‘pool in a box’ by a company called ‘my good birth’ and I found it to be better than expected, the kit comes with everything you need and helped make my birth a great experience. www.mygoodbirth.com

WATCH MY HOME WATER BIRTH HERE

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Announcing the birth of Cataleya

21 Oct

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Our Beautiful miracle, Cataleya Lilianna was born at 2.50 on 21st October 2013 by home water birth.

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Her name is Colombia’s national flower and means beauty, strength and love and we Love her so much!

Setting up my birth pool from My Good Birth

1 Oct

Choosing the right pool for you to give birth in is very important and I wasn’t quite sure where to look at first. When I found Pool in a Box on the My Good Birth website I knew it was perfect for the experience I was hoping for.

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I opted for the regular size so Danny could get in to the pool too if he wanted to. The fact it’s inflatable made it seem easy to put up and comfortable to lean on. It comes with a seat and a cup holder and the standard kit comes with everything you need for birth. Floor lining, thermometer, tap adapters and pipes for filling, non slip mat, submersible pump and strainer. I also got a hooded towel for baby, water cup, an anchor for helping different positioning in second stage of labour and a clear fit cover.

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I ordered my pool and kit before 1pm and it arrived the next day with a text from the courier letting me know what hour they would be delivering. It was a fab delivery service especially if your worried baby is going to make an early appearance.

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Sitting in my box! Can’t wait to set it up, with help from hubby of course.

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We decided our bedroom would be the best place so I could get straight onto my bed after. The instructions were easy to understand and Danny had the pool up in no time. We put the cover over the top to keep it clean and sterile inside. Now all we need to is wait for labour to begin.

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All prepared! Cameras at the ready too and I will post the link to watch my birth, when it happens!

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I am so pleased with my birth pool and I can’t wait to use it. I feel it will really help towards a relaxed and wonderful home birth.

Order your pool in box at mygoodbirth.com

Choosing a home water birth

1 Oct

I absolutely loved my first birth experience, so when thinking about options for my second birth I wanted an even calmer, more relaxed atmosphere, so a home water birth felt like the natural thing to do. One born every minute were now filming in Bristol, if they had been filming in leeds I would have loved to have been part of the series again. My husband had two dreams that he had delivered our baby at home. (He never remembers his dreams! ) so that got me thinking why don’t i prepare for a home birth. Feeling prepared is a big part of me being in control and relaxed. We attended a home birth class at the LGI and I was convinced. The sastistics were very interesting and realised everything I needed for my first birth would be in my house, so why go any where else?

This information is from the NCT web site NCT.org.uk
Research has found no difference in the death rates of mothers or babies between planned home births and hospital births. Studies have found that, compared to women planning a hospital birth, those planning a home birth have:

a lower risk of having a caesarean section,
a lower risk of an assisted delivery, i.e. forceps or ventouse and
less risk of haemorrhage.
This was confirmed by the Birthplace study which found that women planning a home birth were more likely than women planning for birth in other settings to have a normal birth: 88% of planned home births are ‘normal births’ compared to just under 60% of planned obstetric unit births.

Labour tends to progress well at home, where women feel relaxed and free to move as they wish. You are also under less pressure to labour within strict time limits. This means there is less need for intervention such as drugs to speed up labour, or delivery with forceps or ventouse. These interventions carry risks, as well as potential benefits, and are more likely to be suggested in a hospital birth. Finally, there is less risk of infection at home, for both mother and baby.

Babies born at home are:

less likely to be in poor condition at birth,
less likely to have birth injuries and
less likely to need resuscitation.
Your midwife will monitor your baby’s heart and your condition regularly through labour, and will advise that you transfer to hospital if she has any concerns about the health of either of you. The aim is to transfer well before a situation becomes an emergency.

This information defiantly put any worries out of my head and any negative comments I’ve heard about home birth being more dangerous than a hospital birth in anyway to mother or baby.

My pros for having a home waterbirth
* relaxing atmosphere that we can create with candles, lighting etc
*be able to play music
*will be prepared if baby decided story come quick
* be able to get straight on to my bed
* have the full attention of 2 midwives
* don’t have to worry about the hospital being being busy
*won’t have to make the car journey to hospital in labour
* Danny can be in the pool with me
* my daughter can be close by
* the community midwife I have seen for all my checks will be delivering the baby.
* all the medical equipment and injections I had in hospital for my first birth will be brought to my house
* I can set my video camera up to film
* I can have as many visitors as I want as soon i would like

My cons for having a home birth
* possibility of being transferred to hospital
* won’t have the bringing baby home moment

As you can see there are far more pros for me deciding to have a home birth for my second baby. When I think about my next birth Experence I get so excited about the feel of peace and celebration in the air.

I am so glad I had my first birth in hospital as being there made me feel more at ease. The midwives were brilliant and I had the most calm and un medical experience I could have being there. Now I know how my body works I feel I a home water birth would be perfect this time. It would give me just that extra bit more control of my surroundings and atmosphere.

Enjoying my pregnancy

18 Sep

I have only 4 weeks to go until my beautiful baby is here and I can’t wait to meet her, I have enjoyed every stage of this pregnancy and to be able to say that is such a triumph, after the ups and downs we have been through to get here. At times I never thought I could get back to the woman I was when I gave birth to my beautiful girl 2 years ago yesterday, full of positivity, faith and joy.

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Eivissa a few minutes old

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Eivissa blowing out her candles on her 2nd birthday.

After suffering 2 miscarriages I wasn’t sure how I was going to enjoy being pregnant again. The thought of 40 weeks of fear really scared me. We decided to put things on hold and to just enjoy what I had been blessed with, my daughter, husband, family and friends and hopefully once my mind was healed then another baby would follow.

Fast forward to a healthier state of mind and equipped with a healed heart, we found out the best news, that we were expecting again, we were thrilled to bits but also weary and cautious due to our difficult past. We were sent for an early scan at 6 weeks and seeing that little heart beat was amazing, I knew from that moment that our baby would be healthy and strong.

In order to enjoy my pregnancy I decided to act hoping my feelings would follow. We told close family and friends we were pregnant as soon as we found out, knowing that their prayers and positive vibes were going to spur us on, it certainly made those first 12 weeks a lot easier.

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12 week scan pic

The last two times we were in this room, the news wasn’t good, now it was ‘our time’. Documenting this gave us a focus, turning a negative into something very positive.

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Just before we went in
At 20 weeks we had a gender reveal party, we wanted to make every moment of this pregnancy a real celebration! it was such a fun way to find out we were having a girl! I could now start to think about what she would be like, collecting things for her momento box.

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I have loved having my bump again and this time I have made sure to take pictures every week.

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Yey at 30 weeks my bump decided to properly show up!

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33 weeks on holiday. I was really proud to show off my bump. We had a really great time and I felt in good health. Only a little swelling of the feet but otherwise I was able to keep up with everyone else.
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I feel such a sense of achievement that I have been able to overcome my fears and feel stronger and wiser than when I had my little girl. I’m hoping my experience can give hope to some women who have suffered miscarriage or loss. We will be appearing on the next series of ‘Oneborn what happened next.’ They have featured our story and the new pregnancy. It makes me happy that our second little girl will see how much she was hoped and prayed for.

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Sit down interviews for Oneborn follow up show.

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Eivissa helping cameraman Ben out.

My birth and how prepared for it.

27 Jun

I’ve had hundreds of emails, tweets, Facebook messages asking about my labour whether i did hypno birth or meditation the answer was no. So I thought I would run through the whole process of exactly what I did.

My story began as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I had to get my mind and body aligned so that they were completely in tune and both working in the right direction.

I started the research of child birth and read every possible bit of literature in relation to a good birth, I gathered all the information and made my own assessment and came up with this,
I believe we were created by God and put on this earth to populate it, every aspect of our body was designed to make this process happen, from the fact that women were designed with a womb, ovaries and breasts, everything you need to carry and care for a new life, if this was the case then our bodies are made to cope, I knew what I needed to do and I trusted the mechanics of my body to do the job efficiently,

Here are a few things I researched that helped with my birth

King Louis XIV;
I found out a very interested fact about
Louis XIV who made his wife give birth lying down so that he could watch the future king being born, prior to this mothers would squat or stand up as it’s proven that it is easier to labour in this position, this new trend became popular not only for the women but for the convenience of the doctors as delivering babies from mothers lying on tables is much easier to do than if they are squatting, standing, or on hands and knees too. Sometimes, doctors today will even tell us that it is for our own safety that we delivery on our backs, but is that true? I thought that women for years were having no problem squatting so if it was good enough for them then it was good enough for me.

Animals and their habitat;
Another thing I researched about was how animals give birth, essentially we are animals and we can learn so much from our 4 legged friends, when an animal is giving birth the environment they surround themselves in are essential to the labour process, take this for example, when a sheep is due to start labour, it will leave the rest of the flock and find a quiet corner of the field where there are no distractions, it almost always happens at night so there are no bright lights to startle them, if a predator happens to take advantage of the sheep, the labour process will slow down as adrenaline kicks in and fear will stop the labour going any further until they find a safer place. The main thing an animal desires is a quiet, safe and comforting surrounding

Water birth;
A French doctor came up with the concept of water birth in the early eighties, his theory was that water can act as a counter balance to adrenaline, it soothes the muscles, therefore relaxing you, another interesting point he makes is that water births take away most, if not all intervention from doctors, leaving you in control of your body, I don’t know about you but I know my body better than anyone else, especially a doctor, the third point he makes on the subject relates to the environment in which the new born enters the world, for nine months it’s being surround by water and to bring the child out into the same surrounding it is used to stops the baby becoming distressed, as you have probably seen on my birth, Eivissa came out very quiet and relaxed( if you haven’t seen it, log onto the channel 4 website or check out the link on my page)

I found all the above very interesting and very true of what our experience can be like, I too wanted a quiet, serene atmosphere, low lighting and to feel safe and without fear. When your body is in it’s most relaxed state then your state of mind will follow, often after we get home from a stressful day at work, a nice hot bath will make us feel relaxed and clear our thoughts but if we come home from work and talk about our stressful day, then we remain stressed and tense, apply this situation to child birth, if we approach it in a calm, relaxed state, free from fear and focused on the end result then we are never going to give the opportunity for adrenaline (which acts against our body in the berthing experience ) to occur and make the process difficult or even slow.

The start
Late Thursday evening I felt what seemed like a period pain, I had a dull back ache that would work it’s way round to my front in waves, the feeling came and went perhaps 6 times in the next 24 hours but didn’t really cause me any concern,

7pm; Friday evening was when the dull aching turned into mini contractions, each one lasting 15 to 30 seconds and happening every 9-15 minute, you know that it’s a contraction because it feels like the wave you get when you have a period pain, the first few hours of these were fine and I was even able to go to McDonald’s( I reccomend chicken Mayo burger, small fries and sprite) perfect labour snack, hehe!

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In labour in McDonald’s

10pm; the contractions became more intense, I was still able to move around but once a contraction came I found laying on the bed with my knees against my chest eased them. I called the hospital at this point and told them my symptoms and they advised that it is the early stages of labour and to stay home and keep relaxed

2am; contractions coming hard and often, every 3-5 minutes, decided to speak to my cousin in America who just had a great birth, she told me to focus on one spot in the room, to imagine my body was floating, letting each contraction wash over me, this exercise was brilliant and really helped me focus. I called the midwife again just to let them know my progress and we both agreed that should stay at home as long as I could.

5am; decided to have a bath, played some really soothing music and was softly singing songs to my tummy.

9am; I got to the point where my contractions were every 5-6 minutes consistently, the feeling was very intense and at times took me off my balance, I called the hospital and we all agreed it was time to come in.

The contractions continued as I travelled into hospital, Danny drove and was keeping me calm and relaxed,
I think it’s very important that your partner is in tune with your wants and desires, he knew what I wanted and the experience I was hoping for, if your both pulling in the right direction then if one is struggling in an area then the partner is there to pull you back up. Danny knew my birth plan inside out so if for whatever reason I wasn’t in a state to say what I wanted then he knew what was going to be best for me! As we entered the ward they put our microphones on and directed us to the water birth suite which thankfully was free. Once inside, the midwife asked to examine me internally just to see how far dilated I was, I was fine with this as it gave me an indication of how far I’ve got to go,
I laid on the bed and my surprised midwife informed me I was over 4cm dilated, she started to fill the birthing pool( takes about an hour to fill) and I decided to keep active and walk around the birthing suite, I found that during contractions I felt most comfortable sitting on the toilet, weird, I know, but it worked
The birthing pool was ready, the water is the same temperature as the womb and needs to be kept at this temperature, I kept active in the pool, standing,sitting, squatting, dancing, anything that felt comfortable.

Throughout my labour I wanted to have music playing and Danny wanted to be connected with me so we shared an iPod and listened to some soft soothing gospel music. Danny was amazing at encouraging me, he knew that his support to me was invaluable and that his positive words were helping me to stay focused on the goal!

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I kept my breathing controlled and found that listening to music helped me keep a rhythm, I didn’t let myself have any freak out moments as I wasn’t going to slip out of my zone, after 10 minutes of pushing my waters broke( this can happen anytime in labour),it was like a water balloon bursting in mid air, I think me and Danny did a high five! Then the midwife informed my that she could see the crown of my baby’s head and I knew that I wanted to push as my body was telling me to do so, through out my labour the midwife didn’t intervene in any way, only to check my heartbeat after a contraction, when I told her I was ready to push, she said go for it, after my first push I asked if the baby was going to come out of my bum, I was convinced it was going to come out of there but she assured me that it wasn’t, the midwife told me that the head was visible and to give a big push, 2 pushes later, the head was out and I only needed another 2 pushes before Eivissa was fully out.

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I then took her from the water and laid her straight on my chest and began to cry tears of joy! We wanted to wait until the chord stopped pulsating before Danny cut it, this took about 7 minutes in which time we were able to just stare and admire the miracle that was before us.

The midwife then took Eivissa to be weight and checked and she immediately passed her back to me so I could breast feed her. She must have been hungry as she latched on straight away and started sucking, the bond I felt in this moment was the closest bond I have ever felt to anything in my life, looking down at her, I knew that she was dependent on me to care and look after, she was the image of perfection and the overwhelming love was uncontainable, I was already so proud of her even tho she was less than 30 minutes old!

At the end of the day it’s called ‘labour,’ the very definition of the word means ‘physical work, done by people’, it’s not always going to be easy but the end result is so worth it! I would recommend it to anyone!

What an incredible feeling and perfect experience I had, I thank, firstly, my husband, for standing with me in every single area of the process, for supporting, loving and caring for my wants and needs, secondly I thank the hospital staff, from the tea ladies to the incredible midwives, each and every one of you are angels and last to my closest friends and family who encouraged my wants, even if at times they didn’t understand them, they still believed in me!

Some of the books I read were
‘Childbirth without fear’ by Grantly Rick-dick
‘Birth Reborn’ by French obstetrician Michael Odent
‘Supernatural childbirth’ by Jackie Mize

When reading books don’t take everything as a fail proof formula. Pick and chose what u feel suits you and apply it to your life. Every experience, person and baby is different but what you can learn from books can be amazing

Baby gender reveal

7 Jun

For my second baby I wanted to do something a little different. I had heard about ‘baby gender reveal parties’ that had become popular in America. I watched a few youtube videos of couples finding out what sex their baby was by cutting a cake or opening a box of balloons and I thought what a brilliant idea, a perfect way to celebrate the new baby on the way.

So on the day of our 20 week scan we asked the sonographer if she would write the gender of our baby on a piece of paper and seal it in envelope so me and my husband wouldn’t see. To which she said ‘no, against policy’. Oh no!, our brilliant way to find out the sex of baby was going to be ruined. We did a lot of begging and the only alternative was to get someone we knew down to the hospital within an hour then they would be willing to tell them so they could write it in the envelope. The thing was I knew my mum and sister were away for the day. So I needed to find a friend and fast.
Our solution? Ask a stranger in the hospital reception to pretend to be my mum! After a failed attempt at that, I started praying ‘lord, send me some one who could do this for us’ well God must have heard my prayer, because at that moment in walked our good friend Tom, I couldn’t believe it. He was more than happy to do it for us, in fact he said he felt like a God parent. We now had our sealed envelope and headed straight to the balloon shop so they could fill our box with pink or blue balloons.

We asked our guests to come wearing the colour they thought the baby would be (pink for girl or blue for boy). I opted for blue whereas Danny chose pink as its always been his wish to have two little girls. We gave Eivissa the choice of a pink or a blue outfit and she picked out pink which didnt surprise me as she kept saying girl and pointing to my tummy.

Team pink or blue?
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The box was sealed and ready to be opened!

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The big reveal, we kept our eyes closed!

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IT’S A GIRL!!!!!
Seven pink balloons floating into the air. So happy!

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Tom, who already knew was wearing black, but then had pink underpants hiding underneath, Haha!
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More girls in the family, Yey! Me with my Mum and sister

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Click here to watch
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