Welcome to the World Charlotte Elizabeth Frances Reynolds

Charlotte Elizabeth Frances Reynolds
Daughter of Samantha and Peter Reynolds
Born on the 14th of October 2010
At The Royal Surrey Hospital, Guildford
Weighing 6lb 3oz

n 2007, when she first met Pete, Sam Reynolds was recovering from a year of treatment for breast cancer. “I was enjoying life again, after a bumpy old time, and Pete was a breath of fresh air for me – he was thirsty for life and all of its adventures.”

Pete and Sam got serious pretty quickly. “We talked about how important family was to us on our first date. From that point, I had a feeling that we were both looking for the same thing from a relationship – and that children were pretty high up on the list.” Sam’s doctor, however, had warned her that she should wait until her remission period was over, before considering a pregnancy.

In the Summer of 2009 Sam and Pete were married, and in October that year Sam was told that she could stop taking the cancer drug Tamoxifen – this was earlier than planned. “We were elated, and we decided that we would think seriously about starting a family in the New Year.” By February, Sam was pregnant. “It was such a surprise – after everything my body had been through I’d anticipated having to try for at least six months, but we were ecstatic.”

To make the news even more special, Sam discovered that she wasn’t the only person in her family expecting a baby. “On Mother’s day we went to see my parents, and, to our delight, my sister announced that she was pregnant too – due a week after us! It was amazing – we both felt that we had someone to go through it all with.” Although she found pregnancy exhausting, Sam remained positive. “I saw my consultant every three months during the pregnancy, so he could keep tabs on me, and I figured that if I could get through chemo, labour was my next conquest!”

At 23 weeks, a scan showed that Sam had a low lying placenta, which meant that she may need to have a caesarean. At 37 weeks, Sam was at home, alone, when she started to bleed heavily. “Pete was at a work function and my mum and dad were abroad. When I rang Pete, he didn’t pick up, so I left a calm message, simply saying that something had started to happen. Little did he know that I was standing in a pool of blood! I then called my aunt and told her that I was calling an ambulance.”

“I rang 999 – and actually wondered whether I was being slightly melodramatic – but there was an ambulance there within seven minutes and they didn’t let me hang up until I was with the paramedics! Throughout the phone call I was very scared and I couldn’t stop shaking, but I wasn’t in pain and I just prayed that that was a good thing.”

During the ambulance journey Sam was having contractions every two minutes, but these stopped when she arrived at the hospital. A scan confirmed that the baby was fine, but Sam was feeling faint, and the nurses were concerned about her level of blood loss. Fortunately Sam’s aunt soon arrived at the hospital, closely followed by Pete. “Seeing a member of family made the floodgates open, and I burst into tears. But it was great to have them both with me.”

Medical staff discussed the option of performing an emergency operation that night, but Sam’s bleeding subsided and the decision was taken to book her in for a caesarean first thing the following morning. At 8am, Sam was feeling jittery. “All I could think about was the epidural not working. The anaesthetists were amazing, and to reassure me they asked me to pinch my bikini line, which I did with all my strength. Little did I realise I was actually pinching just below my breast bone!”

Sam’s fears were soon forgotten, when her baby daughter was born. “When Pete told me it was a girl, and I heard her cry for the first time, I burst into tears – again! The relief of the previous 24 hours flooded over me, and I just couldn’t believe we had our little baby girl. She was amazing, and a picture of health – we were smitten!”

A week later, and a few days after Sam and Lottie had arrived home, Lottie’s sister gave birth to a baby boy – Bertie. “Going through it all with my sister has been amazing, and Bertie and Lottie are being forced to spend a lot of time together! I had them both together the other day and I thought, ‘blimey, is this what having twins would be like?’ It’s crazy, but it’s such fun, and we’re looking forward to sharing lots of exciting times all together. Pete and I are loving parenthood – every day is a little miracle.”

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