- Annie Lightfoot, 36, spent hundreds on dresses and threw a pink baby shower
- The interior designer had a scan at 20 weeks saying the baby would be a girl
- But she instead gave birth to a boy in hospital, whom she has named Reuben
- She has kept the items she bought and received in the hope of having a daughter
When Annie Lightfoot discovered from an ultrasound scan that the baby she was expecting was a girl, she was thrilled.
The first-time mother named her unborn child Coco, spent hundreds of pounds on dresses for her and threw a pink baby shower.
So imagine her surprise when she gave birth in hospital – to a bonny baby boy.
Miss Lightfoot said: ‘As the baby came out a midwife said to me, “He’s doing just fine” and I said, “Don’t you mean she?” When staff replied, “No, it’s definitely a boy!” I was absolutely shocked.
‘I was overjoyed to have a son, but I’d been expecting a girl. It was almost as if I’d been given the wrong baby.’
She adores the son she has called Reuben, but admits she still longs for the daughter she thought was on the way after the scan at 20 weeks.
‘We really bonded while ‘‘she’’ was in my tummy,’ said Miss Lightfoot, who gave birth at Luton and Dunstable Hospital. ‘I had always imagined myself with a daughter. Not for one second did I imagine the sonographer would have got the gender wrong.’
On its Choices website the NHS says the scan at 18-21 weeks is mainly to check for structural abnormalities, but parents can find out the baby’s sex if they wish. It states: ‘You should be aware that it is not possible for the sonographer to be 100 per cent certain about your baby’s sex. For example if your baby is lying in an awkward position, it may be difficult or impossible to tell.’
Miss Lightfoot, a 36-year-old interior designer who split from her baby’s father while she was pregnant, believes people should be made more aware ultrasound scans are not always accurate.
She said: ‘At my scan the sonographer confirmed my baby was healthy, and then asked, “Do you want to know the sex?”. When I said yes, she replied, ‘‘It’s a girl’’. She never said one word to say “most probably a girl” or “possibly a girl” and there was no warning that it was not 100 per cent.
‘I thought I was having a girl myself and as I have such a great relationship with my own mum, Jenny, I envisaged that with my own daughter.’
She threw a baby shower where everything – fizz, juice, flowers, sweets and decorations – was pink, and bought dresses, pink babygros and shoes. Meanwhile family and friends gave her pink hand-me-downs including teddies and a moses basket.
But when, two weeks overdue, she gave birth by emergency c-section, Reuben appeared.
Miss Lightfoot, who used to live in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, but has moved to Doncaster, said she and Reuben, now two, ‘are best friends’, adding: ‘I couldn’t love any child more. But I am not sure I will ever get over not having Coco. I have kept items I bought for her and was given, in the hope I will one day have a little girl.’
Luton and Dunstable Hospital would not comment on the scan.