“I met my man and had the baby I thought I’d never have ... all within a year”

Like many people, Lindsey Briggs-Hackford dreamed of meeting the perfect man and having children together.

Like many people, Lindsey Briggs-Hackford dreamed of meeting the perfect man and having children together.

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

However, it seemed her hopes were thwarted as, not only did she struggle to meet someone right for her, she was diagnosed with a condition which meant she may experience problems with her fertility.

Lindsey, 30, who lives in Buckshaw Village, near Chorley, explains: “I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome when I was 21. This is a condition that affects how your ovaries work and I had very irregular periods. Sometimes I could go up to a year without having a period.

“One of the other ways the condition affected me was that I suffered from excessive hair growth and I had to have regular facial waxing.

“I was warned that although it wasn’t impossible to conceive, it would be more difficult for me to get pregnant and I may need medical treatment to make it happen.”

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

Shaking her head in disbelief at the whirlwind year she has had, Lindsey cannot believe how much has changed in such a short space of time.

She and partner Garry Bundy, 33, are celebrating the one year anniversary of becoming a couple ... and are sharing their milestone with their six-week-old baby daughter Olivia.

Lindsey, who is a self employed beautician working from home, had dipped her toe in online dating before but had not really had any success.

However, towards the end of April last year, Lindsey began chatting to Garry Bundy on a dating site and the couple really hit it off and arranged to meet.

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

Lindsey and Garry became a couple on May 6 last year – but little did Lindsey realise how life changing meeting Garry would be.

Lindsey recalls: “I had been single most of my life and both Garry and I had done online dating but not really met anyone.

“We started chatting online at the end of April last year and got on 
really well and arranged to go on our first date on the Saturday a few days later.

“While we were on our date, Garry asked me if I wanted to meet up the following day, too.

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

“It was a Bank Holiday weekend so we actually ended up having three dates back-to-back on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

“We just got on like a house on fire. Garry made me laugh so much and I think we have very similar personalities.”

Garry, 33, who is an aluminium welder, building bridges for armies, had been married before and has three daughters aged 12, nine and five.

Lindsey didn’t have any children but knew she wanted them. However, at the back of her mind lurked the fear that the polycystic ovarian syndrome she had been diagnosed with years earlier might have an adverse effect on her fertility.

Weight gain was also a symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome – and this can also mean a negative consequence for fertility.

Lindsey says: “I had become healthier and lost a couple of stones and, as a 
result, my periods had become more regular.

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

“Garry and I officially became boyfriend and girlfriend on May 6 last year. We did not become intimate until the end of May and then I conceived a month later.

“So it was obviously meant to be.”

However, despite Lindsey becoming pregnant with ease, her pregnancy was marred with complications and, due to her health issues and family history, her pregnancy was consultant-led.

Lindsey explains: “I have a family history of diabetes and heart problems so this was a factor.

“Then I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago because of gallstones.

“A couple of years after that, I had pancreatitis, which was caused by a gallstone stuck in a bile duct.”

During her pregnancy, Lindsey ended up on crutches because of back and pelvic pain.

Lindsey discovered her blood type was rhesus negative and, as her baby’s blood type was rhesus positive, Lindsey had to have an anti-D injection.

Lindsey had always wanted to give birth naturally and, while she was pregnant, one of her clients told her about hypnobirthing and Lindsey felts this suited her idea of what birth should be and she and Garry went to hypnobirthing classes to learn about having a peaceful birth experience.

Lindsey says: “Garry was more sceptical but I thought hypnobirthing really suited my birth plan.

“They teach you how to channel energy through breathing techniques and this really ended up helping me during labour.

“Hypnobirthing is really popular and apparently Kate Middleton used it!”

However, due to Lindsey having a consultant-led pregnancy because of all her health issues, when her waters broke at 37 weeks of pregnancy, her consultant wanted her to be induced.

Lindsey says: “Midwives are all for natural births and things like hypnobirthing.

“But consultants are more text-book and, when my waters broke at 37 weeks, they were pushing for me to be induced.

“However, I declined because I felt intervention breeds intervention and I really wanted to wait and see if I would go into natural 
labour. I became known as the girl who refused induction at the hospital!

“I did everything I could to help bring on natural 
labour such as going on walks, having hot baths and showers and using clary sage oil.”

Four days after her waters broke, Lindsey gave birth to daughter Olivia, who was born on Saturday March 24, weighing 7lbs 1.5oz.

Amazingly, despite medics initially wanting to induce her, Lindsey fulfilled her wishes of having a natural water birth without any pain relief – not even gas and air.

Lindsey says: “The whole thing only took seven hours, which is quick for a first baby.

“I felt really happy and relieved that I was able to have the labour and birth I wanted and it was a very emotional experience.

“Giving birth was very tiring and it was painful. I was offered gas and air when I was 9cm dilated, but I thought: ‘I have come this far without it’ and knew I could do it.

“I felt determined and after my pregnancy had been such a rollercoaster, I felt like I was the one in control.

“I also knew that my body could naturally birth a baby as that is what it is designed to do,” she added.

Lindsey wants to share her story with other people to create awareness that women don’t need to go down a consultant-led route if they feel strongly enough about it.

She says: “I would advise other people to go with their instincts. Garry thought I was being stubborn towards the end, but I just wanted a natural labour and birth and knew I could do it.

“I think many women, especially first-time mums, can find the experience so daunting and scary that they often just go with the consultant’s advice rather than their own instincts. Birth is such a special moment, it should be memorable and about what you want.

“Olivia is wonderful and after having a rough ride during pregnancy, I had a 
really smooth labour and have a very chilled out baby.

“Even straight after birth, Olivia was so alert and I put this down to me not having any drugs throughout the labour.

“I hope my story can help other people to have a positive birthing experience.

“Garry’s three daughters all adore Olivia and are 
besotted with her and love having cuddles.

“We feel very blessed and incredibly lucky.

“It has certainly been an eventful year and I feel very happy.”

Garry jokes that it feels like he has been with Lindsey a lot longer than a year and when asked what 
attracted him to her, he quips: “She is a good cleaner and an all right cook so I thought: ‘You can’t go wrong!’

However, on a more serious note, he says: “I dated a few girls after splitting with my ex but I was ready to give up on the whole dating thing as it wasn’t going anywhere.

“But then I met Lindsey and we both had lots in common and got on really well.

“Lindsey is nice and kind which can be quite rare to find. She gets on well with my other three daughters and is an all-round nice person. To now have Olivia as well is fantastic as I love babies.

“Lindsey did not think she could have children so we never imagined in a million years that she would get pregnant so quickly.

“I was actually the one who realised she was pregnant as we went fishing together and Lindsey kept falling asleep. I said to her: ‘You’re pregnant you are’ so we went and bought a pregnancy test and it ended up being positive. Lindsey couldn’t believe it so we ended up buying a few more tests before it finally sank in.

“I feel really happy at the way life has turned out and it has certainly been an action-packed year.”

l For video footage of Lindsey giving birth, visit: www.lep.co.uk

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

Photo Neil Cross'Real Life Story'Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.

Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.'Baby Olivia after birth

Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.'Baby Olivia after birth

Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.'Lindsey with Olivia after having a water birth

Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.'Lindsey with Olivia after having a water birth

Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.'Lindsey with Olivia after having a water birth'Garry with baby Olivia

Lindsey Briggs-Hackford and Garry Bundy only met a year ago but have now got baby Olivia together.'Lindsey with Olivia after having a water birth'Garry with baby Olivia