Charlotte Church Amazed By Newborn Son Dexter

02/16/2009 at 08:00 PM ET
Courtesy OK! UK

Thanking everything from 24 to curry takeout, Charlotte Church introduced her new son Dexter Lloyd, 5 weeks, in the February 3rd issue of OK! UK — and raved about life as a mom of two. “I was a bit of a pain in the ass in the last few months,” she admits. “I was so uncomfortable, I just completely lost sight of how amazing it is when you have a newborn and how precious they are.” Also getting high marks from Charlotte? Partner Gavin Henson, who had a soothing affect on the 22-year-old songstress during labor and delivery. “The midwife couldn’t believe how calm Gavin was,” Charlotte recalled. “He talked me through it.” Gavin — for his part — was quick to downplay his role.

“She was in so much pain. It’s frustrating because you’d like to take that pain away if you could, but you can’t do anything. So I was just trying to encourage her.”

As she did with 16-month-old Ruby Megan, Charlotte was hoping to deliver at home. Around 5 p.m. on January 10th, contractions were coming “quite regularly” but the couple were unsure if they were true, having suffered through several bouts of false labor in the weeks leading up to that moment. “I didn’t want to tell anyone in case it was a false alarm again, so we ordered Indian [takeout],” she said. The curry apparently did the trick! Just after midnight on January 11th, Charlotte was able to accomplish her goal of an unmedicated, midwife-assisted home birth; Unlike many women, however, she said that delivering a subsequent child was more painful than a first.

“Dexter was in an awkward position in my pelvis, he was all up close to my back. The contractions were really strong for a long time. I was shouting for [pain relief] but by the time they got it ready I was ready to push.”

Further complicating matters, Dexter was facing the wrong way — though in the final 15 minutes of labor he managed to turn on his own. “He had an indentation on his head, because of the way he was laying and babies’ skulls are so soft,” Charlotte explained. “That took a few days to go down.”

Click below to read how Ruby is adjusting to life with a baby brother.

The painful delivery was preceded by a painful pregnancy, which saw Charlotte besieged by hip problems. The condition deteriorated as her due date neared, but the Kiefer Sutherland-led FOX series saved the day — on more than one occasion! “For the last six weeks, every day I was like: ‘Please let it be today!’ What got us through … was 24!” Charlotte explained. “We watched about six hours a night, waiting and waiting for this baby — we got through the whole six series so thank God for 24.” Added Gavin, “thank God for Jack Bauer!”

The couple knew that baby-on-the-way was a boy, as well as that Megan was a girl, but both times managed to keep their happy news a secret. “We didn’t even tell our family,” Charlotte says. “It was really nice that it was just between the two of us.” After the midwives “cleaned up the battlefield” Gavin’s parents arrived with Ruby, and the newfound family of four settled in for the night. With Gavin’s rugby team training the next day, however, a nanny-free Charlotte quickly found herself on her own!

“I think I did too much in that first week, though, because on the Thursday [after the birth] I cooked sausage and mash and a blackberry and apple pie, cleaned the house and looked after the kids, and then sat down and thought, I need to calm my ass down!”

Ruby is adjusting well — and reacting intuitively — to her new role as a big sister. “When it’s just me and the kids and I’m breastfeeding him, Ruby just seems to know that I can’t really do much so she entertains herself until Gavin comes in the door and then she’s pointing at her coat wanting to be taken outside,” Charlotte said. “She seems to have taken to him…she’s not jealous,” Gavin added. From the sound of things, she might have ulterior motives! According to Gavin “she’s after his dummy!” Agreed Charlotte,

“When Ruby sees him with it in she’s definitely taking that out…We’ve only got one dummy at the moment so heaven forbid we lose it!”

There won’t be any mad dash by Charlotte to shed the baby weight, for her two small children are her only focus at the moment. While she’s “stopped buying stuff for the goodie drawer” Charlotte notes that as a breastfeeding mom, a restricted diet isn’t healthy. “I have to eat lots at the moment…and Dexter’s draining me, but I’ve never been worried about that stuff and it all works out in the end,” she said. “We don’t have a nanny and there’s no way the kids are just going to sit and watch me on an exercise bike for an hour!”

There was a time during the pregnancy Gavin said he feared that Charlotte — who, after Ruby’s birth, famously claimed to want eight children — was no longer in favor of having a big family. “The pain Charlotte was in at the end, I thought she might not want to have any more, but because of the happy hormones that come after the birth she wants loads again so it’s happy days,” he revealed. Charlotte says she’s adjusted the numbers, but her goal remains intact. “Now it’s four to six [kids]…Six maximum!” she exclaimed.

Source: OK!

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Showing 38 comments

Jenifer on

Charlotte is awesome. Congrats to her and her husband.

kelly on

They are such a cute young family. Congrats to all of them!

Nevea on

She seems so sweet and down to earth! It’s so great to read about celebrities who are opting for midwife care and home births. What a great birth story and a cute family!

Darlene D. on

Ummm, Jennifer, they’re not married. :-(

Anna on

They seem really happy to me. This interview was very natural, cute!

PS Marriage doesn’t guarantee anything.

Nicole on

adorable kids, good looking family.

Bela on

Ruby is so cute! If her brother looks like her, he is going to be super cute to!

CelebBabyLover on

I had no idea pain relief was possible with a homebirth! I also didn’t know midwives were qualifed to give Epidurals! Or do they use a different kind of pain relief? Or is an ansthesioligist also present for the birth?

Anyway, Dexter is a cutie!

Charlotte was referring to gas and air, not an epidural. It’s 50 per cent oxygen and 50 per cent nitrous oxide and can help take the edge off contractions.

– CBB Staff

Sanja on

I love these kinds of interviews! Wish more Hollywood type celebrities would be so honest, instead of always saying that the birth was perfect or not mentioning it at all when they introduce their babies.

ilaria on

Good to hear about another great homebirth. They are the best! :)It’s so true, when you feel that you can’t take the pain anymore, you’re pretty much done! It’s “transition” and almost time to push!

Tee on

When Charlotte spoke about her first birth, she said that she recieved an injection of a pain killer. If memory serves correctly, it was Demerol. I love hearing about celebrities who plan for a natural home-birth.

Ruthella on

I think maybe midwives can administer a Diamorphine injection during a homebirth? That’s what they give at our hospital anyway. That and/or gas and air; no epidurals here! :0

Mrs. R. on

Homebirths are not to be taken into consideration lightly. It’s fine that it’s what she chose, and I’m sure her medical care was excellent with her midwife (I think midwives are great, don’t get me wrong)… but there is NOTHING wrong with having your baby in a hospital with assistance from medication and an OBGYN. I get frustrated hearing people brag about their birth choices because it DOESN’T MATTER how the child comes into the world, it matters that the baby is healthy. How the child got there is irrelevant.
childbirth is becoming competitive and it’s ridiculous.

NLT on

MrsR:

It DOES matter to the mom, especially if she didn’t have a great experience at the hospital. Hospitals are fine, if that’s what you want/need, but it’s great to know there are other options out there.

chloe on

I don’t think there was even a hint of bragging in this article.

you’re right, in the long run it really doesn’t matter how the baby got here… but that is an accomplishment to be proud of and i think she should absolutely be allowed to share.

on another note i think making a point to remind people that charlotte and gavin are not married is kind of lame, they are clearly very committed to each other and they don’t need a piece of paper to declare that to the world. i am not married to my partner and we are far more committed and in love than many other married couples i know, i am his wife and he is my husband paper or no paper. i am sure charlotte and gavin feel the same way.

Mrs. R. on

I’m not complaining about the idea of options. Options are great, midwives are great and I’ve had friends who’ve done home births. It’s not that I’m arguing about. It’s this idea that somehow someone who does a med-free birth is a better person or that a homebirth entitles someone to bragging rights.

It might just be where I am living, but it seems that I run into a lot of smugness around birthing, which I find to be really irritating.

Charlotte just seemed in interviews before her 2nd child’s birth to have this fixation that a homebirth with a midwife was important because it was better somehow, and I just find that attitude silly.

Again, my point is that it matters that the child comes into the world healthy, however the mother decides to birth it.

Brandi on

As someone who’s done both a c-section and a hypnobirth I have to say that I would tend to lean towards the idea that the tenets of the homebirth belief would be preferred by many women. Not necessarily delivering at home, but for most women, ultimately you don’t want surgery or to have an unnecessary episiotomy, or to have your baby react to the anesthesia in any way. Of course you do what you need to do during your delivery, but for most you would not plan for these things unless necessary.

Anyway, I didn’t construe anything Charlotte said here or in the past as bragging, just simply sharing her experience. Congratulations to her and Gavin on the birth of Dexter.

Kerri on

Mrs. R: I agree with you. I do find that some moms feel the need to somehow boast about a particular birth method, and how it was the best one, or somehow more validating, etc. I really feel like the way you give birth is a completely personal choice and any sort of competition over the “right” way to do it is kind of petty.

Ash on

Mrs. R-

I think you’re taking this waaaay too personally. Charlotte wasn’t bragging at all! It’s just that some women prefer having midwives and home births and for them, that’s the best choice. I highly doubt she was trying to make anyone else feel bad. geesh.

RockinMomma! on

I don’t see what is so silly about an attitude that safer=better. It has been proven in studies that homebirth with an educated attendant is safer for the mother and child and has much better outcomes for both than birthing with an OB at a hospital. OB’s are highly trained surgeons. They are good with high risks and dangerous situations. Normal, healthy ones are not their specialty. Any OB worth their weight should be willing to own up to that fact themselves. Thank God that there are OBs out there for those that need them, but shame on the majority of them that treat every woman like she has birth complications and forces interventions on her that can and a lot of times DO harm the woman or her child!!!

Lesha on

I think the reason that people make a big deal about homebirths is because they are seen as so taboo by a lot of people. Heck even some insurances won’t cover mid-wives or won’t let them practice at hospitals. It’s more along the lines of showing the world there is nothing wrong with homebirths, maybe in an attempt to normalize them, much like hospital births and c-sections births are completely normal.

I think it’s awesome to read about so many celebrities having home births or mid-wife births. It’s just more positive publicity for a perfectly normal choice for a birth! Way to go Charlotte and congratulations.

Gem on

Don’t forget that Charlotte is in the UK, we only have midwives here — there are doctors at the hospitals but they’re only there for emergencies and have nothing to do with giving pain killing injections like Pethadine. An anethetist does give an epidural but everything else is given by a midwife.

They carry the same stuff for a home birth that they would for a hospital birth so really, other than a quick ambulance ride if things get tough there’s not really as much difference here between home/ hospital births.

Harley on

I do love this young couple. I still remember her being 14 and singing operas lol.

Thank you for clarifying that Gem :) I was curious what the birthing situation was like over there. More and more I’ve seen birthing centers attached to hospitals over here in the States and I’m a big fan of that. It allows the mother the full range of options, with the exception of it being at home of course. It allows for mid-wife births, water births, doula’s, etc. and if, God forbid something were to go wrong, the hospital is only steps away with the NICU.

Mary on

That’s great! I love how there is no nanny. So chill about losing the weight! She’s awesome!!

iluvallbabies on

It simply should be “Congratulations on having a healthy baby”. Simple. Not about where or how she gave birth.

SmilesNHugs on

Mrs. R is right and most of your posts slamming her point out why she’s right. You immediately say how much better homebirths are. I’m all for women having choices and for society to support those choices but this site is awful about slamming people who don’t want YOUR choices. I’m happy Charlotte got what she wanted. I’m happy when any mother gets to have a homebirth, if that’s her choice. I just don’t think she’s better than me because I like being in a hospital. Oh and to those who said how normal csections are, um, do you read this site? People always complain about women having csections and don’t even get people started on breastfeeding. It’s all a competition. Men have sports, women having childbearing and rearing. MOM#1: I had my baby at home, no pain med, breastfed until he was two. MOM#2: Well I had my baby at home while doing the dishes and vaccuming and I breastfed until he was 12. It’s sad that women have become so competitive and meanspirited about such personal choices.

SmilesNHugs on

Chloe, why does it bother you when people say someone isn’t married when they aren’t married? You aren’t married. You made a choice. You think a piece of paper doesn’t mean anything. Other people think is does. If you’re so happy with it (happy enough to think you’re better than your married friends) then you shouldn’t be so sensitive. I’m a single mom. My choice. When people complain about single moms, I don’t get offended. It’s my choice, I’m cool with it but not everyone is. It’s called tolerance, but tolerance and acceptance are two different things. You sound like someone who doesn’t get that. You need to mellow out and be happy for what they have and not try to make others embrace your lifestyle.

Jennifer on

Congratulations to the family! Ruby is such a cutie! :-)

Jaimi on

I am amazed at how much Charlotte and I have in common (sort of)! I just had my second baby on Jan. 27th and I had the same hip pain. I also had many many bouts of false labor and held off when I felt the real contractions, so much that I almost gave birth in the car! My labor was 5 hours long from start to finish and Charlotte’s was 7. But my son (I have an older daughter too) came out without any problems, however just like Charlotte it was unmedicated. Cool! I love this family, and there children are adorable.

chloe on

smilesnhugs,

i was just pointing out that i didn’t think it was necessary to correct someone who had called gavin her “husband” (the frowny face attached to that statement was a little judgmental, no?) i wasn’t personally offended by it. i don’t think i’m better than anyone, married or not. i was simply saying i am not married and don’t need to be legally married to be committed and i’m sure charlotte and gavin feel similar. you read way too far into what i said. it was about the correction and the emoticon really.

p.s. i am well versed in the difference between tolerance and acceptance, i’m a social worker. anyways, i was in no way making a judgment towards married people or charlotte or anyone really, i was saying it didn’t need to be corrected. relax.

Happy4Charlotte&Gavin on

Congratulations Charlotte & Gavin (& Ruby, of course :-D)

There is no way I will be able to give birth without meds (this is my 2nd time, so I know I’m getting the meds), but more power to Charlotte for being able to do it :-D

Congratulations!!!

CelebBabyLover on

Sanja- I see your point, but I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with celebs not sharing their birthing experience. I mean, let’s face it, childbirth is one of the most personal things there is! Not only that, but some women feel that their childbirth experience and the details of it should be between just them and their husbands.

Morning on

The difference is home birth mothers in many countries feel attacked while their choices are limited by law. Where I live home birth midwives are outlawed.

Mrs. R. came off as way too defensive when no one had even said anything bad about hospital birth. Mrs. R brought the whole subject of comparison up even though no one had previously made any comparison. And Mrs. R. started with the heavy-handed and forebodingly judgmental statement “Homebirths are not to be taken into consideration lightly.” Then Mrs. R. tried to play the victim card when no one had said anything bad about hospitals. Really scroll back up to her original post.

Also, I am shocked narcotics are avail at home in the U.K. Here in the U.S. narcotics are not allowed in home births with midwives b/c they are so risky that if you do resort to pain relief, you need to be in the hospital in case complications arise from the meds.

The fact is that American childbirth is statistically more risky in the hospital b/c of the complications that happen because of routine medical interventions. Women who choose to give birth an American hospital are lucky that medical staffs are so good at cleaning up the messes they make with their 50% induction rate and 90-95 epdirual rates and antibiotic-resistant infections like MRSA that are practically running rampant in the hospital. Want to see the truth behind the states? Check out Consumer Reports Health Report on childbirth in America. (yes, that Consumer Reports) they are a dot org website.

Suzy on

Congrats Charlotte!!! She is going to have such a wonderful time with her little ones, baking and gardening and oh, how she’ll sing to them! As for the birth, I’m super jealous of lucky moms who got natural births. I wound up with 32hr labor/c section, 24 hrs/c section, and planned c section. All I ever wanted was a few packs of granola and a hot tub, but it didn’t work out that way. At the time i felt like a total failure, and I did feel a lot of jealous pain when my friends could do it right, but 7 yrs later and it’s water under the bridge. So now I just focus on the baking and gardening and singing, the dandelions, the long walks of ambling along and noticing every little bug and flower. So precious.

Ruthella on

As Gem pointed out, there isn’t much difference here in the UK between a home and hospital birth, assuming there are no major problems. In three pregnancies and births, I have never seen any kind of Dr, and you can’t even have an epidural at my local hospital. I almost decided to have a homebirth the last time for this reason, but didn’t in the end because of the potential mess! Instead I went in, did what I had to do and came home two hours later :) And I only saw one member of medical staff, a midwife, during the labour! Totally normal in the UK :)

Sanja on

CelebBabyLover -oh, I know that:-) and I understand that some people feel it’s to private to share.

But, generally, British/European celebrities seem more open about sharing the details and I like to hear about it:-)
It helps to know that not everyone has a ”perfect” experience and that even famous people have the same problems like the rest of us and aren’t ashamed to admit it (same about breastfeeding, sleepless nights, child rearing in general, etc.).

Mary on

My sister-in-law had my niece at home, and it was magical. It was what I wanted, and it’s what I planned for–until I developed serious high blood pressure and had to lie on my left side with my feet on pillows for four weeks with my first son and six weeks with my second. I had c-sections when I flunked my non-stress tests (the baby kicks but his heart rate doessn’t go up, which signals fetal distress and indicates that the baby needs to be born as quickly as possible–otherwise the placenta will separate from the uterus, with dire consequences for the baby). So my homebirth plans were scrapped, and as my physician told me, my “preemies” were huge (9.8 lbs for son #1 and 9 lbs. for son #2), and had I gone to term, they would each have weighed 12-13 lbs and would have died (as would I) without the c-section. So it is just a very indiviual thing. Huge babies run in my dad’s family (his grandmother died giving birth to my grandfather because he was immense), so I’m grateful for modern medicine that my children and I are no worse for the wear. I had dreamed of my living room and and got an operating room, but medically all was well. I envy the home-birthers, but it just wasn’t to be for me.

momma on

I think the ‘control’ that Charlotte had over the births of her children was paramount to the successful home births. She doesn’t mince words about the pain, but she can feel very proud that she worked through it. I had two medication-free births and they were wonderful (ok, so I had 6 1/2 pounders and lots of braxton-hicks to prepare my body) but I also felt in control and wasn’t afraid of the pain. Unless you have medical reasons for planning a c-setion, get some good pre-birth training and understand the process completely. Your body is designed to do this! In a small place in your mind, be prepared to do whatever is medically necessary to have a safe delivery, but question whether this really is necessary or if you just want relief.

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