We spent the remainder of that Christmas Day separate. We chose to do this as we’d already had such an amazing morning, and it was to be the last Christmas Day we would spend alone with our families. I love Christmas day, mainly because we all gather at my Mum’s house and her partner cooks an amazing feast for all of our immediate family. My Grandma is getting old now and she's the apple of all of our eyes. Me and my best friend Kirby laugh about our grandparents as they always seem to ring us when we’re busy and they want to talk for hours! We joke about the fact we have to answer the phone to them because we know that one day they won't be with us. I try to appreciate and take in every minute we spend with her. She's defo the 'Nanny Pat' of our family, so Christmas Day is an extra special time for us all to spend together.

Kal came back HOME on Boxing Day and we spent the remainder of the Christmas period together. We had definitely grown so much closer. We had everything prepared for Andre's arrival as I was determined to keep working as close to the birth as possible. Kal gave his house up in Leeds and moved the rest of his things into our place - which wasn’t a lot anyway as his belongings had been creeping in bit by bit in the run up to Christmas, haha! The New Year had started and pre-season was in full swing. I was working loads, trying to keep as occupied and active as possible, but I began to feel really run down and tired. Kal and I were finally working as a team as opposed to against each other for once.

My official due date was the 4th of April 2013. It was fast approaching so I left work and decided to have a few weeks’ rest before the big arrival. Kallum’s birthday came - the 12th March - and we enjoyed that last birthday before Andre came, spending quality time together, even though we were so excited to become parents by now. We had decided that I would have Andre at Pontefract Birthing Unit and we wanted a water birth with as little pain relief as possible. I am TERRIFIED of blood tests, and I mean terrified, so the birthing unit felt so much nicer to me. It seemed more like a hotel room with a hot tub than a hospital. I had declined the blood tests that you’re supposed to have when you’re pregnant. I had missed most of them anyway due to finding out late, but even the blood tests I could have had, I didn’t. I finally had no choice but to get my bloods done at 35 weeks’ pregnant. I went to Pinderfields Hospital and after two canisters of gas and air, I went through with it. I had screamed and created that much of a fuss that the lady next to me asked if I'd had a boy or a girl - she thought I’d had the baby aleady, haha! I was exhausted by this point. In the run up to the test I had barely slept due to being so scared. I suffer with anxiety too, so a combination of a phobia and anxiety is horrible. My phobia has got in the way of so many things before, but it made me feel like a shit parent not being able to do this for my baby. I would literally do anything for my son, like I'm sure any parent would, but I couldn’t do this - that’s how much blood tests scare me! One midwife made me feel like the shittest person in the world, trying to bully me into having my bloods and telling me it’s not for me, it’s for the baby and that I was being selfish. Did she not think I knew this?? That is the worst way to get around someone with a phobia! If she had sat with me and told me that there was no rush and it was going to be ok etc, etc, there would have been a much higher chance of me going through with it, but the way she spoke to me, she had more chance of getting blood from a stone! The only reason I ended up having the blood test was because the hospital didn’t know my blood type, so if I had needed a transfusion in labour, I would have died! I'm sure that will be the last blood test I'll ever have - I hope! Or maybe I will try and get hypnotized one day.

After the whole blood test drama, I had arranged a day out on Saturday the 16th March with Nichola. Kallum was going down to Lincoln that day and staying a few nights with England rugby, so I got up and cleaned the house from top to bottom. Kallum used to be so messy!! He's actually not that bad anymore, but he was a nightmare before. I liked to clean the house while he was away because I knew that I could just sit and watch TV the rest of the time in our lovely clean house. After I’d cleaned we went to the Pound Shop and stocked up on cleaning products. Everyone talks about 'nesting' whilst pregnant and it's so true. I think your body just knows when and how to prepare for a baby.

We had a little scare 2 days prior to this day out. Andre's heartbeat was too fast so the midwife sent us to the hospital for monitoring, but they discharged us and said I was fine. I think that gave me a kick up the arse to ensure the house and everything was ready for Andre, as I’d spent the journey from the midwife to the hospital convinced that they would section me (C-section that is, not send me to a mental institute), and that was the furthest thing away from my pain relief-free water birth!

Nichola and I went and got our nails done and had a really nice girly day out. Earlier that morning I had tried some Castor Oil in a drink of Coke. I‘d ordered a little bottle from Amazon and I swear it only held a teaspoon’s worth!! It was so tiny and I couldn’t even really drink it - it was vile! Hours had passed and nothing had changed! I had previously tried eating pineapples, bouncing on my birthing ball, and of course sex! Now I was full-term I was just dying to meet our little man and I did what most pregnant women do ... spend my day Googling how to induce labour!! But nothing worked. When me and Nichola were out I made her go into Holland and Barratt and buy me some more Castor Oil to take when Kal got back from camp ... little did I know that I wasn’t going to need it!

The day came to an end and I messaged Kal to let him know that I was going to sleep. I remember texting him saying I don’t even want the baby to come yet as I'm far too tired and I’m going to sleep for a week! It was 8pm and I went to bed. I woke up two hours later with bad stomach cramps, I just couldn’t settle. I tried ringing Kal in Lincoln but he didn’t pick up, I knew he would be sleeping. I tried my Mum who was also asleep and didn’t answer. I then rang Nichola who answered. To this day she will say that the only reason she was awake was because we had our nails done at the Chinese nail salon and her fingers were throbbing, haha! She thought I was trying to wind her up. Maybe I was being dramatic, but it was like a really bad period pain at this point. You know when it hurts that much that the tops of your thighs hurt? But it could have just been Braxton Hicks! I still had a few weeks left, but I rang the midwife unit to be safe. The lady who answered was asking me questions so she could assess my pain by the tone of my voice and by the pauses I made - what a skill! She told me to go to Pinderfields Hospital to be assessed as the birthing unit was full!

With or without Kal and Mum … I was about to meet our son.

End of Part 8.