Mum feared she had a burst appendix - but minutes later she gave birth to a surprise baby girl

22nd Feb 18 | Real Life

Charlene wondered why she wasn't able to shift the weight after the birth of her third child - but it turned out to be another baby bump.

PA REAL LIFE Charlene Fullerton (6) Cropped (1)

A mum-of-four has revealed how she rushed to the bathroom in pain, fearing she had a burst appendix and moments later gave birth to a surprise baby girl.

It was just over a year since Charlene Fullerton, 32 – who was on the Pill – and her warehouse worker partner, Steven Fraser, 34, had decided their family was complete, after having their third daughter, Emily, now 21 months.Full-time mum Charlene, of Falkirk, Stirlingshire, who admits she had been unable to shift her baby weight, said: "I had no idea I was pregnant.

Baby Janey (PA Real Life/Collect)
Baby Janey (PA Real Life/Collect)

“People asked me, because I had a bit of a mum tum, but I was still having my periods. It wasn't until I pushed out her head that I finally realised I was having a baby! It was the biggest shock of my life.”The drama unfolded in late August 2017, when Charlene woke up over the weekend, feeling out-of-sorts.Then, in the early hours of Monday August 21, she woke feeling terrible and rushed to the bathroom, realising she was bleeding and suffering from severe cramps.

Katlin, Emily, Sophie, Janey and Charlene (PA Real Life/Collect)
Katlin, Emily, Sophie, Janey and Charlene (PA Real Life/Collect)

She explained: "I know now that these were contractions, but I’d already had three kids and they didn't feel anything like the contractions I had with them. This was more like a continuous pain."Waking Steven, her partner-of-15 years, Charlene told him something was seriously wrong."He thought maybe my appendix had burst. He had no idea what was about to happen," she recalled.

Janey shortly after she was born (PA Real Life/Collect)
Janey shortly after she was born (PA Real Life/Collect)

Taking baby Emily downstairs, Charlene – also mum to Katlin, 11, and Sophie, eight – rushed back to the bathroom where, as the pain intensified, she fell forward onto her hands and knees.Worried, Steven called an ambulance and after telling the operator about her symptoms, was told she could be in labour.Within minutes, Charlene confirmed this, when she felt the urge to push.

Charlene, Janey and friend Shirley in hospital (PA Real Life/Collect)
Charlene, Janey and friend Shirley in hospital (PA Real Life/Collect)

As time was of the essence, the operator then guided Steven through the process, as he delivered their 6lb 1oz baby girl and placed her in her mother’s arms.At first, panicking, as she was not breathing, within seconds, she let out a cry – coinciding with a knock at the door.Charlene, who, not knowing she had been pregnant had enjoyed the odd glass of wine and a cigarette, added: "The noise woke up our older girls and they came downstairs to unlock the door.

Emily, Katlin, Sophie and Janey (PA Real Life/Collect)
Emily, Katlin, Sophie and Janey (PA Real Life/Collect)

“Sophie just gasped and said, ‘Mummy, have you had a baby?’ They were shocked – but then so were we."Taken to Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Falkirk, to be checked over, doctors said both mum and baby – who her parents called Janey – were fine.But, as the couple had decided not to have any more children, after Emily was born in May 2016, Charlene had gone back on the Pill and given all their baby clothes and equipment away.

Emily and Janey (PA Real Life/Collect)
Emily and Janey (PA Real Life/Collect)

She said: "I had no idea what we were going to do. We didn't have anything.“We took Janey to hospital wrapped in a towel and the paramedics gave me a little hat for her, but we'd given everything else away. “Luckily, some neighbours, family and friends rallied round to give us clothes and a Moses basket."

Baby Janey (PA Real Life/Collect)
Baby Janey (PA Real Life/Collect)

Looking back, the one giveaway sign that Charlene was pregnant was her weight.

She said: "I just couldn't shift my baby weight, but I was a busy mum and I put it down to being a bit older. “A few people asked if I was pregnant again, but I dismissed it. I was still having my periods and other than weight gain, I had no symptoms."

To put her mind at ease, Charlene took a pregnancy test in February last year- but the result was negative.Continuing to feel bloated, she took another one in July, but it was negative, too.Concerned, she saw her GP, but was reassured that, after two pregnancy tests and as she was still having regular periods, it was extremely unlikely she was having a baby.
Charlene said:"Falling pregnant with Emily had been a surprise, too, but I found out at six weeks and everyone was really excited.

“But it seems Janey was a surprise to everyone until the moment she was born!”

Now almost six months old, Janey is thriving and Charlene has settled into being a mum of four girls.

Charlene, Steven, Emily, Sophie, Katlin and Janey (PA Real Life/Collect)
Charlene, Steven, Emily, Sophie, Katlin and Janey (PA Real Life/Collect)

"Janey is such a chilled baby, which is funny after her dramatic arrival. I'm just so glad that she's ok, as I did have the odd glass of wine and cigarette, not knowing I was pregnant, ” she said."I'm thinking of getting sterilised now, though. Our family is definitely complete and I don't want to go through that again!"

© Press Association 2018

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