The Voice UK star Lydia Lucy has shared the gorgeous first photos of her adorable daughter Dottie-Mai exclusively with OK! after giving birth to her last month.
Although she says motherhood is "amazing", 28 year old Lydia suffered quite the ordeal as she prepared to give birth, spending four days in labour and having to be induced three times before her waters finally broke.
"It just seemed like it was going on forever. I can see now how women say they were in labour for four days because it genuinely does feel like you've been there forever, it's very frustrating," she tells us from her home in Essex.
Here, the singer talks us through her traumatic experience, and explains how she and partner Tommy Watson's daughter may already be plotting to follow in her mum's showbiz footsteps…
Hi Lydia! Congratulations on the birth of Dottie-Mai, how are you and Tommy finding parenthood?
We're absolutely over the moon, we couldn't ask for anything more, but we are very exhausted! We're just happy that she's fine. I'm recovering at the moment because she was 8lb 9oz so she was a big baby! I think that's maybe why we had a few complications. We're just so in love, we're so obsessed with her.
It sounds like you had quite the ordeal in labour, can you tell us what happened?
I went in to hospital to be induced on the Thursday [25 November], because she was measuring at quite a big baby and with the size of me, I'm only five foot, they were quite worried. I went in to be induced but it just wasn't really happening so we had to wait for 24 hours and I was induced a further two times, which still didn't speed up anything, nothing was bringing the labour on.
At this point, I was just emotionally and physically drained after having all of the assessments and being poked and prodded left, right and centre. I must say all of the midwifes and hospital staff were absolutely amazing, but it was such a long process.
On the third day, the Saturday, they said they were going to induce me again and I had a bit of a mental breakdown, to be honest with you. They were going to put the Dilapan rods up me to try and get the labour to come on but I just said no, I didn't want it anymore. I said, 'I've changed my mind' and I was very upset and couldn't stop crying, I just didn't know what to do.
They then took me to be examined by a doctor and they were just about to place the rods to do the further induction when the doctor said he could break my waters there and then, so that was a bit of a miracle. I was a bit out of it though so I didn't really know what was happening. He then broke my waters which was a bit crazy, it was like Niagara Falls!
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That sounds awful! What happened next?
Once my waters broke, I was put on to a hormone drip and she arrived early Sunday morning. It was quite traumatic, where I was put on the hormone drip, the contractions started coming thick and fast and it all happened very, very quickly. I was quite adamant that I didn't want any pain relief because I felt like I'd been through enough but I did end up having Pethidine in the top of my leg, and then the s**t really hit the fan!
Did it all go smoothly once the birth began?
No, the baby actually came out with the cord wrapped around her neck, but luckily I was none the wiser about that because it was all happening at the other end, but my mum and my partner were very aware.
What I did know, though, was that when she came out she wasn't crying and I was panicking about that because you just expect to hear the baby cry. But the midwife was absolutely amazing, she literally just unravelled the cord, the rest of her came out and she was absolutely fine. She's our little miracle rainbow baby!
How did Tommy find being in the delivery room?
He stayed up the head end because he was a bit nervous but he was very supportive. I think my mum went a bit grey, but so did Tommy! He was told it was going to be a long night with it being a first birth so he brought his laptop and was planning on watching a film, which obviously didn't happen! He logged on to the NHS wifi and shut it straight down again.
During your pregnancy, we spoke about your illnesses and health scares you'd suffered. How was the end of your pregnancy?
I was still classed as high-risk which is why I think they wanted to induce me because of all of the complications I'd had during my pregnancy, as well as her being a big baby.
They were concerned because of the blood clots that I've had and, of course, you can bleed out when you give birth or have a Caesarean, we weren't sure if I was going to need one of those. But in the last stage of pregnancy, apart from feeling huge, I felt ok.
Are doctors happy with you now?
They're keeping an eye on me just to make sure everything's ok but, fingers crossed, it was just pregnancy problems. Hopefully everything will be a smooth ride from here… until the next one! But that won't be for a while, I can tell you that.
The ordeal hasn't put you off having more children in the future then?
I will definitely have more children. Even though it was very traumatic, she is so worth it. I took one look at her and, oh my God, there is no love like it. You forget all of the pain and everything that's gone on.
What was the moment when you first held her like?
It's pretty surreal, actually. They place this baby on your chest and I remember just looking at her and thinking, 'What has just happened to me?' It was just like it wasn't real. I felt like I was in a daydream even though I'd just been through all of the pushing and everything else. I don't think any mother can describe that feeling. I still can't believe that I've done it, I'm shocked at myself. I didn't think I'd ever be able to do something like that but, once you're in the moment you just kind of go with it, it's crazy.
Dottie-Mai is such a gorgeous name, where has it come from?
My grandma's name is Dottie and Tommy's nan was called Shirley-May, so I decided to mix both of the names together to create a double barrel and have a sentimental name. I love it and I've had so many people message me saying they love it too, so I'm really happy with it.
The photos are stunning, how was Dottie-Mai on the day?
She was really good. We had the photographer come to our house because we're still a bit worried about going out and it's so cold at the minute. They said she's so well behaved that we should put her in for baby modelling! She didn't scream or cry once, she was just happy to be put into her positions.
So she might be following in your showbiz footsteps?
Maybe, that would be nice!
Are you looking forward to spending Christmas with her?
It's so funny because I don't even feel like it's Christmas because we've been so wrapped up in parenthood, I don't even know what day it is! But I'm really looking forward to having her for Christmas and mine and Tommy's parents and grandparents are over the moon, it's just going to be the most magical Christmas with our three and a half week baby.
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