A mother of two sons who was thrilled to be welcoming her first daughter was left shocked when a third boy arrived, after a gender scan mistake.
Lauren Keen, 26, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, spent hundreds of pounds on pink items for her first daughter, including personalised clothes, only to deliver another boy, her son Dexter.
The mother and her partner Karl Nunn were stunned when midwives handed them their newborn, who they had already named Marilyn – only to discover their third baby wasn’t the daughter they were expecting.
The couple were thrown into a ‘rollercoaster of emotions’ after spending hundreds of pounds on pink accessories and clothes.
They were then faced with an impossible decision to make within a matter of minutes, because Lauren had previously asked to be sterilised following the delivery because further pregnancies would put her at risk.
While Lauren said she felt a rush of love for her son, at the same time she felt like she was grieving for the daughter she was expecting to have.
Mother-of-three Lauren Keen, 26, from Bradford, was all prepared to welcome a girl in June 2019, but was shocked to find she had actually given birth to a boy, Dexter, now 21 months, pictured, after a pregnancy scan mix up
The mum-of-three said: ‘I was expecting to hold my first daughter, our final child and we knew our family would be complete. I was numb, I didn’t know how to process everything that was happening.
‘I had agreed to be sterilised after the birth, because it was my third C-section and another pregnancy would be too risky.
‘I had to decide on the spot, if I was still going ahead with the procedure.. I was trying to process that the daughter I had dreamt of didn’t exist on top of the realisation that if I went ahead with the operation, I would never have a daughter.’
Lauren and Karl, have been together for seven years and already had two boys together, Abel, now five, and Opie, aged three.
The couple were shocked when Karl, pictured, realised their newborn baby was a boy during the actually delivery. Pictured: Baby Sexter soon after being born
After giving birth to two boys, Lauren was extremely excited to welcome a baby girl, and had picked the name Marilyn. She had also bought hundreds of pounds worth of pink clothes and accessories
While expecting their third child in June 2019 they asked to know the sex at the 20 week scan.
However unlike her first two sons, who both required additional growth scans, Lauren only had one check up whilst carrying her third child.
‘I thought after two boys, our third baby had to be a girl and I was told I was right. As I was being examined the lady said “she looks fine”, and “I’m going to take her measurements”.’
Later she shared her excitement with friends and family and said she never thought for a second the scan might be wrong.
On her Instagram page Lauren wrote: ‘EVENTUALLY! June 2019 I will be welcoming a baby girl into the world, everyone who knows me knows I cannot explain how happy I am. Roll on June to meet my precious dolly. Love you baby girl.’
A picture of Lauren’s pregnancy scan, where she was told she was expecting a girl, prior to giving birth to Dexter
The former communications officer said: ‘I had all the cravings that people associate with having a girl and all the symptoms of old wives tales that point to having a girl.’
With hindsight, the couple wished they had paid for a private 4D scan and found out sooner, rather than being surprised after their son was delivered.
Instead, the couple prepared to welcome a girl and decided to donate all the old clothes their older sons had grown out of.
Lauren said: ‘I was so excited for a daughter, I bought her an entire wardrobe from newborn to around one year. I was finally having a girl and I wanted to spoil her from the start.
Dexter at 20 months. Lauren said she loved Dexter ‘to bits’ after the initial shock of giving birth to a boy
‘We bought pink blankets, and girly clothes with frills and flowers. We spent hundreds of pounds on dresses, cardigans and outfits.’
The couple even purchased a new pram and car seat in purple, ahead of the arrival of their little princess.
During her pregnancy, Lauren also ordered a personalised pink romper suit with the name Marilyn printed in gold glitter.
Lauren said: ‘We planned to use this outfit to announce her safe arrival and her name, Marilyn Felicity Annette.’
Karl, 30 and Lauren, pictured. Karl, who has two children from a previous relationship, became a dad-of-five when Dexter was born
Karl, 30, who also has two children from a previous relationship, including an eight-year-old daughter, became a dad-of-five on his birthday when Dexter arrived on June 6th 2019.
Dexter was born weighing 7lbs 3oz and Lauren remembers the moment she went into theatre.
‘I was lying there, looking up and thinking, “Any moment now I am going to meet my daughter. Any second now I will finally be able to hold her”.
‘One of the doctors suddenly said, “Did you say you were having a girl?” And at the same time Karl shouted, “Lauren it’s a boy”.
Lauren had given away all her older boys clothes and bought pink accessories and clothes for her new baby girl. Pictured: newborn Dexter in a pink blanket
‘I told him not to joke and he said, “I’m not joking, our baby has b*lls”.
‘I felt dumbfounded, I didn’t know what to say. I had a rush of love, but I had so many questions and so much confusion, it was such a mix of emotions.’
She added: ‘There is a photo of me holding Dexter for the first time and I look blank, the shock was overwhelming. I have no expression because my mind was racing and couldn’t focus on a single emotion.’
Lauren said: ‘I was honest with Karl and said to him, “You are going to have to be patient with me. I am going to cry”. My emotions were all over the place.
Lauren recalls the first time she spent time alone with Dexter shortly after her surgery.
Dexter now. Lauren said she was ‘dumbfounded’ during Dexter’s birth, and that it took her time to process the news she’d never have a baby girl
She said: ‘We lay together for around two hours having skin to skin. I loved him to pieces.’
But Lauren also recalls she was the talk of the maternity ward but was never asked how she was coping with the shock and disappointment.
She said: ‘I was known as the mum with the baby who wasn’t supposed to be a boy.
‘Many found it funny, but I didn’t and I was struggling but people just assumed I also thought it was funny. It was a big shock and I wished professionals would have asked if I was OK.’
Lauren who was 24, did go ahead with the operation but said the time shortly after Dexter’s birth was a blur.
She said: ‘I kept asking myself, “Do we try again?” Would I be having another baby just in the hope of having a girl? I didn’t want to have another baby for the sake of trying for a girl, that wouldn’t be fair on me or that child.’
Lauren said: ‘I felt like I had lost a child that never really existed. We had already named her. It was like we had twins, but only got to meet one – and however much I love Dexter, that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to miss the girl I thought I was carrying.’
Lauren added: ‘I know people will criticise me for having those thoughts, but they are my feelings and they are valid.
‘Dexter is my last child, It took me a few months to really process it and I had moments when I was very upset.
‘It was so hard to sell the items that we had ready for our daughter. We sold the pram and car seat and the dresses. It hit Karl as hard as it hit me.’
Back home, it took the couple six days to decide on his name but today, Dexter is a boisterous 20 month old toddler and Lauren couldn’t imagine her life differently.
Lauren said: ‘I want to stress how grateful I am to have three beautiful, happy and healthy children. That is what is most important and we know that. But I am allowed to be upset by what happened.
‘That doesn’t mean I love Dexter or my boys any less than I would have loved a daughter.
She said: ‘I just can’t imagine having a girl in this house now. I have three amazing boys and they are as thick as thieves. They are going to have such a close bond as they grow older together.’