When my Charlie nearly missed the birth of his son, I was livid. But nothing could have prepared me for his reason why…
By Michelle Watson, 25, from Aberdeen
The rain hammered down as I struggled across the slippery pavement, lugging my heavy shopping bags.
I was rushing home from the supermarket, when my foot slipped out from underneath me and I landed with a thud on my side.
‘Oh my hip!’ I squealed. It hurt so much that I was terrified I had broken it.
I managed to limp home to my partner Charlie, 27, who took one look at me and called an ambulance.
I was taken to hospital where a paramedic met me with a wheelchair and I was examined by a doctor who gave me a thorough examination.
‘Are you pregnant?’ Asked the doctor.
I told him that I wasn’t but the doctor offered me a test anyway.
‘Might as well while I’m here,’ I shrugged, taking the test from the doctor. I didn’t think anything of it until the doctor suddenly announced: ‘You’re expecting!’
I couldn’t believe it. I turned to Charlie and smiled. It was a surprise, but a welcome one. Charlie leaped off the chair and gave me a huge bear hug.
‘Careful!’ I joked, as he took me in his arms. ‘You’re going to have to be gentle with me now.’
Thankfully my hip was intact and I was sent home with some painkillers and told to rest. It wasn’t easy. You could have peeled Charlie and I off the ceiling. We were sky-high!
Once I was mended, both of us set to work on turning our little home into a nest for our new arrival.
Nothing pleased me more than watching Charlie beam with joy as he stroked my ever-growing bump. We couldn’t have been happier and we counted down the days until my due date.
Charlie and I had been friends for years before we got together in 2012.
I’d never thought of him as anything more than a friend for so long that when I started feeling strange around him, I didn’t understand what was going on.
When Charlie finally asked me out for a drink, it hit me. I was developing feelings for him.
Luckily, Charlie felt the same way and after a few months as a couple we moved into a new area together.
Life was bliss, so to discover we had a baby on the way was the cherry on top.
Then one day in May 2015, I was pottering around the house, when a shooting pain in my abdomen almost made my knees give way.
‘It’s time!’ I shouted to Charlie. ‘I think our baby is coming.’
Charlie grabbed the car keys and rushed me to hospital while I tried to remember my breathing techniques.
But once we were into a side room, and I was into a gown, I felt right as rain.
Then another contraction started. After hours, of pacing around the room I turned to Charlie and said: ‘I think we’re are going to be in this for the long haul.’
I was dripping with sweat and Charlie was clearly bored out of his mind, nipping in and out of the birthing room to visit the canteen.
Finally, he said: ‘I’m just popping out to the car.’
I rolled my eyes. ‘I wish I could take a break too,’ I snapped.
‘I’ll be right back,’ he replied, kissing me on my clammy forehead.
I wasn’t too worried by Charlie’s disappearance. I’d been in labour for hours and the baby was clearly in no rush to make an appearance.
But then eventually the contractions really did kick in. The baby was certainly on its way now!
I couldn’t get hold of Charlie so in my desperation I called my gran.
‘You need to get here quick!’ I screamed. ‘Charlie has gone walkabouts and I am about to give birth on my own!’
I willed our little one to hold on for his daddy and thankfully, just as I was about to make my final push, Charlie arrived just in time to see our son, Charles Junior, make his entrance into the world.
‘I went home and fell asleep!’ Charlie panted as he rushed through the door of the maternity ward. I could have killed him.
But I couldn’t stay mad at Charlie for long – he’d got there in the end and he was a doting dad to our baby boy.
But five months later, in October, I was sitting with Charlie when his phone beeped with a message from a mystery girl.
When I noticed she’d called him ‘babe’ in her text, I was furious.
‘What the hell is going on?’ I screamed.
‘Nothing Michelle, she’s just a mate,’ he explained.
I grabbed his phone from him but he wrestled it back from me before I could have a proper look.
‘You’re being silly,’ he said. ‘You call lots of your friends babe all the time.’
He was right.
But although Charlie was adamant I was overreacting and that she was just a friend, I couldn’t shake the niggling feeling that something else was going on.
It was time to turn detective. A whole month passed before I spotted his phone lying unattended and seized my chance.
Call it female intuition, but I was sure Charlie wasn’t telling me the whole truth. I logged onto his Facebook messages to do some digging.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I discovered…
There, in black and white, was a series of steamy messages between him and his floozy dating back months.
When I scrolled back to May and discovered the pair had been exchanging saucy texts when I was giving birth to our son, I was incensed.
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I scanned a text from Charlie to his bit on the side which read: ‘I’ve told her I’m going home, I’ll be at yours soon.’
‘How could you?’ I yelled, hurling the phone at Charlie. My mind raced as slowly, the sickening realisation dawned.
Was that where Charlie had been when I was in labour? Had he nearly missed the birth because he was with her?
‘Tell me everything,’ I sobbed. ‘You at least owe me that.’
When Charlie turned white with shame, I knew what was coming.
‘I have been sleeping with her,’ he confessed.
He drew in a deep breath.
‘And I slept with her while you were in labour,’ he added. ‘I lied to you.’
My legs went to jelly. I staggered to a chair and slumped down with my head in my hands. I couldn’t comprehend what I was hearing.
Charlie was my best friend, my partner, the father of my son, yet this man was a stranger. I didn’t know him at all.
‘I’m so sorry,’ he sobbed. ‘I can’t believe I did this too you.’
‘You’re sorry you got caught,’ I spat.
When I finally managed to collect myself, I packed my bags and left with Charles Junior in my arms. I wanted to be as far away as possible from the traitor who had broken my heart.
I couldn’t even bear to look at him.
Over the next couple of months, Charlie pleaded for forgiveness but I refused to take him back.
Then at the turn of the year, Charlie was visiting his son, when I caught Charles Junior smile at his daddy.
My heart melted. Charlie may have been a horrible rat but no one could deny that he was an excellent father.
‘I promise I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to you both,’ Charlie said. ‘Please give me another chance to prove it to you,’ he begged.
For the sake of our son, I relented and agreed to give our relationship another go.
Since then, we’re taking each day as it comes as I try and extinguish the thought of Charlie’s terrible betrayal.
It isn’t easy. Every mum knows the agony of labour… but I’ll never forget mine.
Charlie says: “I know what I did was wrong. I am so embarrassed by what I did to her. I will never be able to fully make it up to her. I almost missed my beautiful son being born cause I was with that woman. I was looking for something I already had but all I can do is try to make it right.”