When you are expecting a child, the most important thing to wish for is that your baby is born perfectly healthy. However, for various reasons, people do at times hope that their new bundle of joy will be a boy or girl.
In the case of Annie Lightfoot, the new mother was expecting a girl based on an ultrasound scan, which was performed at 20 weeks—and the first-time mom was thrilled to learn she would soon have a daughter.
Lightfoot, who is 36 years of age, spent hundreds and hundreds of pounds on dresses and other merchandise for her future daughter.
Then, when she actually gave birth, she got a bit of a surprise: she had not been carrying a daughter—she had been pregnant with a baby boy.
Lightfoot said that, as the baby was coming out of her, a midwife said that “he” was doing fine. Lightfoot was confused and asked if the midwife meant “she”. Hospital staff confirmed that Lightfoot had absolutely given birth to a little boy.
Lightfoot said that she was “overjoyed” to have a son; however, as she had been expecting a little girl, it almost felt as if she had been given the wrong child by the medical staff at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, which is where she gave birth.
Lightfoot says that she positively “adores” her son, who is named Reuben, but also kind of longs for the little girl she thought that she was going to have. Lighthouse says that the two really bonded when “she” was inside of her. She claims that she always imagined herself with a daughter and did not consider the possibility that the sonographer could have gotten the sex of her baby wrong.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) has stated that scans performed between 18 and 21 weeks—like the kind had by Ms. Lightfoot—are performed largely to check for structural abnormalities. Parents can learn the probable sex of their future child if they wish to do so, but the NHS reminds us that it is impossible for the sonographers to be 100 percent accurate regarding the child’s sex.
For example, according to the NHS, it can be difficult to tell the sex if the unborn child happens to be lying down in an awkward position.
Lightfoot, who is an interior designer and is no longer with the father of her son, thinks it is important that more people know that ultrasound scans aren’t always 100 percent accurate.
She split with Reuben’s father while pregnant with the little boy.
When she had her scan, the sonographer told Lightfoot that she was having a girl. The sonographer did not say that Lighthouse was “probably” having a girl or “might be” having a girl. To Lighthouse, it was a definite that she was going to be having a daughter. There was no warning given to her that the scans are not 100 percent accurate.
Lighthouse is close to her mother and envisioned having a similar relationship with her daughter; however, that was not meant to be.
She actually had a little girl-themed baby shower—and the decorations, flowers, candies, and juice were all pink. She bought dresses for her future daughter—as well as shoes and other baby accessories appropriate for a little girl—who she was going to name Coco.
Two weeks after her due date, she underwent an emergency Cesarean section, and that is when she met little Reuben.
Lightfoot now lives in Doncaster with her son, who is currently 2 years old. She has said that the two are “best friends” and that she could not love the child any more than she does.
Still, she is not sure she’ll ever get over not having a little girl to call her own. She has kept the items she bought for Coco in the hopes that one day she will have a daughter.
Ultrasounds, which use high-frequency sound waves in order to produce an image of an unborn baby, are generally done twice—the second one of them is generally done between 18 and 22 weeks into a pregnancy. It can tell future parents if there is more than one baby in the womb and identify some birth defects.
The first is done early in the pregnancy to confirm the pregnancy as well as detect the heartbeat of the fetus.