Charlotte Dawson reveals she was ‘petrified’ during baby son Noah’s traumatic birth: ‘It was a really scary time’

Charlotte Dawson has been incredibly open and honest about her journey to becoming a mother from the moment she announced she was expecting her first child with her fiancé Matt Sarsfield.

In this in-depth interview especially for OK! VIP members, Charlotte has continued that trend as the 28 year old new mum has candidly shared the story of her traumatic and "really scary" birth, as she poses with her adorable baby son Noah at her home.

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Charlotte Dawson is understandably blissed-up when new magazine meet her for their at-home shoot, having welcomed her first child, son Noah Dawson-Sarsfield, five weeks earlier. “He’s beautiful,” the TV presenter tells new! magazine. “He’s an amazing baby. He doesn’t really cry – he’s so happy.”

Her little one, who she shares with fiancé Matt Sarsfield, arrived at 10.42am on 26 January, weighing 7lb 13oz. And in Charlotte’s first in-depth interview since becoming a mum, she tells new! her birth was eventful to say the least.

The 28-year-old suffered gestational diabetes during her pregnancy and Noah arrived following a hospital dash – delivered by forceps after she had trouble with her epidural and couldn’t feel her pushes

And to add to the delivery room drama, Matt, 29, was filming the birth via bodycam for MTV reality show Celebrity Bumps: Famous & Pregnant.

“I really wanted to film it to have that memory of the birth for myself,” Charlotte says. “That’s why it’s so amazing we’ve done this show.”

After a “testing” first week of breastfeeding and “poo-namis”, she has settled into parenthood well and says being a mum is the most “incredible” thing.

And while her father, comedy legend Les Dawson, who passed away when she was eight months old, isn’t around to see his grandson, Charlotte says she can feel him watching over them – and even sees a resemblance in Noah.

EXCLUSIVE TO OK! VIP CLUB

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  • Charlotte Dawson says she loves her chunky belly and pouch as she poses in her underwear

  • Charlotte Dawson's newborn son Noah is the spitting image of her late dad Les as he 'gurns'

“He looks like Matthew but also my dad,” she laughs. “It’s like a mini-Matt and a mini-Les!”

Here, Charlotte tells new all about her journey to motherhood, her delight at watching Matt as a father and her dream week-long wedding…

Hi, Charlotte! How is motherhood treating you?

I am loving motherhood. I was so nervous at first! I was like, “How the hell am I going to be a mum?” And it kind of came naturally. The first week, I’m not going to sugarcoat it, it was really hard and I thought, “How am I going to do this?” because of the sleepless nights and the breastfeeding.

When he was crying in the night, I didn’t know what he wanted. It’s trying to get to know your baby. Every time I changed him during the night it was a full-on poo-nami – it went everywhere! I was like, “Oh my God, is this what life is going to be like?” But by week two I just got to grips with it.

That’s good!

My mum always said I would be an amazing mum, because I get obsessed with babies. I just want to look after and care for them. Matthew’s sister taught me how to do everything – like how to sterilise. I didn’t know you had to sterilise anything.

When I got back from hospital it was a massive wake-up call. I’m glad I didn’t give up with breastfeeding, because in that first week my nipples were ready to fall off. I kept going and now I’m on week five and I’m still doing it.

Did everything come naturally?

When you’re in this situation it does come naturally. When he came out of my foo-foo I was like, “Oh my God, how am I even going to hold his head properly?” I felt like I couldn’t hold him for the first few hours because I was so scared. I felt he was like glass.

How was the birth?

It was a bit dramatic. Everything’s a drama with me and it was all very fast. The hospital really didn’t want me to go over my due date, because of my [gestational] diabetes. So I had a sweep on my due date, which is a woman’s hand going up your vagina. I was like a born-again virgin when she was doing it.

She said, “You’re actually 1cm [dilated].” She wasn’t happy with my baby’s movements and I had to go for a scan. It was a really scary time. They said, “You’re going to have to be induced tomorrow, because if your baby’s not moving properly and the heartbeat’s going in and out, there could be something really wrong here.”

When you get so far and you hear something like that it’s like, “Oh my God!” So, in the meantime, I did everything I could to bring this labour on.

What did you do?

I got myself a Nando’s, spicy chicken and chips. I also ate pineapple and was bouncing on the bloody ball. And then the next minute, at 11pm, my contractions started. Matthew didn’t believe me! He said, “I’ve got work. Get in bed!” That was the best thing ever, because I actually fell asleep through my contractions.

Wow! Then what happened?

I went to sleep at midnight and Matthew woke me up at 4am and said, “How are you feeling?” I fell to the floor – the pain was horrific! Matthew was getting ready for hospital and I was getting my hospital food ready.

I was like, “I need my make-up bag!” Then my waters broke. It was like a balloon popped in me. I got into the labour room and demanded an epidural. She checked me out and said, “You’re 4cm” and I had the epidural. More or less straight after that, I was fully dilated. The epidural only worked on one side of my body.

I couldn’t feel anything and everyone was around me and I was being filmed as well. That might have been a little bit of pressure. I had it in my head that I was so scared about labour and birth that my legs just buckled. I just couldn’t do it.

Ah, bless you, Char!

I was in floods of tears, I just couldn’t feel my pushes. I’d been pushing a few hours and the baby got distressed. They said they might have to do an emergency C-section, which terrified me. Then they said they could do a forceps delivery.

I was signing my life away on these papers and the pain I was going through with these contractions – I couldn’t cope any more. I was shaking from the epidural. Next thing, I looked up and my legs were in stirrups. Three pushes and he was out.

That must have been scary!

I was petrified. I think Matthew felt scared as well, because all he could see was all these needles going into me. The baby was distressed and there were all sorts of things going on in my head. I felt like a failure and I kept apologising to the midwives. I felt like I’d given up too easily but I couldn’t feel anything [her pushes]. But as soon as Noah got put on my chest, all the pain and horribleness went away.

What was it like having him in your arms for the first time?

It was just incredible. I couldn’t believe that finally we met our baby after months of having him in my belly. It was massive butterflies. Me and Matthew were so happy. We felt as if our world was now complete.

Were there tears?

I was crying my eyes out!

What about Matt?

He was smiling and had tears in his eyes. We were quite relieved as well, as things can go wrong, it’s so scary. More or less straight away, Noah was on my boob – and he hasn’t come off since!

Was Matthew able to be there with you the whole time?

He was able to stay after the birth until 6pm, then the hospital said he had to go home. That was sad. But then we had some mother/son time to bond.

And you had a McDonald’s after the birth…

Girls get push presents like Hermes and Dior bags and Louboutins, and I said to Matthew, “I don’t want any Louboutins but I want a Maccy’s! I’ve just pushed a baby out.” I said to the midwife, “I might ask for a forceps delivery next time.” And she said, “You do realise, Charlotte, forceps delivery is one of the most dangerous and painful births?” They had to put a second epidural in, so I didn’t feel a thing. I’ve not dared look down there… I can’t bring myself to. I think, “What’s happened? Is it a zig-zag line?”

So you didn’t have a painful forceps delivery?

No, because, thank God, the epidural I first had ended up working as they put another one in. Sometimes they don’t numb you, so you feel everything!

How did you decide on the name Noah?

Four years ago, me and Matthew had just started seeing each other. I put [2004 romantic drama film] The Notebook on to see if he would cry. He got a bit of a frog in his throat and I thought, “This is happening – he’s The One.”

Every girl falls in love with [the character] Noah in the film and Matthew turned and said to me, “I love the name Noah.” And I did too. I said, “If we ever have a little boy, let’s call him Noah.” So we always had Noah.

Aww. And what about middle names?

It’s Dawson-Sarsfield. Dawson could be a middle name. We were thinking about calling him Dawson. Matthew will take my name when we get married – so we’ll both be Dawson-Sarsfield.

What’s Noah’s personality like?

He’s a little character! He loves his mummy and his mummy’s udders. He’s very nosey, he’s like his mum and wants to know what’s going on. He’s very alert. He’s so content, so happy and such a good baby.

We’re under a massive understanding now. We’re into a routine. He does a little cry and I go, “No!” and he lets me sleep for another hour. I’ve got him well trained already.

And you enjoy breastfeeding?

I love breastfeeding! I love the bond that we have and it doesn’t hurt any more. All I would say to women who are struggling with
it is, “Keep going!” It’s testing in the first week. I express as well, so Matthew can feed him on the bottle, but he’s best on my boob at the moment.

What has surprised you about being a mum so far?

How much a little human relies on you. You’re their everything. It’s the most incredible thing, being a mum and being able to look after that little boy. I can’t imagine life without him now.

It’s hard for me and Matthew, because it’s gone from spending every minute together and I’m constantly looking after him [Noah] now. It puts pressure on relationships but we’re strong enough. Me and Matthew can’t wait until we can go out and do nice things with the family. We’re loving it and I love seeing Matthew as a dad.

How has he been taking to fatherhood?

It melts my heart. He loves him so much and is obsessed with him. That’s the best thing ever.

What are you going to teach Noah about his grandad, Les?

We’ve been to the statue of him [in Lancashire]. It was a lovely day out and quite emotional for me and my mum. All the most important events in our lives, we’ll be going to the statue.

How much does he look like him?! It’s just lovely. It’s heartbreaking he’s not here but it’s so lovely I’ve got all the home footage we can watch. I’m going to talk to Noah about his grandad. I’m going to get the cardboard cut-out and explain it to him. It will be normal for Noah that his grandad will be here, but not here.

I said to my mum, “I feel like Noah has been hand-picked by my dad because of how well he is and how good a baby he is.”

What would your dad have made of Noah?

He’d absolutely idolise Noah. You can already see he’s a little character, so he’s got the Dawson genes in him.

Have you had signs that your dad’s looking down on you?

Yeah. I feel my dad around all the time but he gave me some strength in that labour room. I had the baby a week before his birthday, which is odd. He was born on the 26th of January and my dad’s birthday was the 2nd of February and he died on the sixth month. It might be a little sign. I know he’s looking after us.

Tell new magazine all about your gorgeous nursery…

It’s the most calming, beautiful space, the best room ever. I wanted to go for a baby blue theme and he’s got a Little Prince cot. And we’ve got a toy box from my mum and dad with a beautiful quote in it from dad’s book [ No Tears For The Clown].

When I was born he wrote, “This clown will cry no more.” So it says, “This clown will cry no more now our beautiful Noah is here. Love from Nanny Tracy and Grandad Les in heaven.” We’ve got a mural with balloons and elephants, and the scene from The Notebook which says, “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”

How lovely! Do you want to have more children?

Definitely, but not yet. I definitely want a little girl and a mini-me. Girls end up being your best friend for life. I’m going to be a nightmare with my little boy – I won’t want him to meet anyone!

How many would you like?

Two or three. I want a four-year age gap. I want to enjoy my time with Noah first, then get married and then have another one.

Have you made any wedding plans?

Not at all. I’ve got a wedding planner [notebook] that I can start writing ideas in. I’m not going to rush it, because I don’t know what’s going on with the coronavirus.

Everyone’s moved their wedding, so everywhere’s going to be fully booked. I think there’s going to be a wedding boom next year. When he’s a few months older, we’ll start planning. I just want to enjoy my baby bubble for the moment.

Will Noah be a pageboy?

Of course! He could give the rings to us.

Do you have any thoughts on the sort of wedding you’d like?

Matthew wants to get married abroad but I love traditional weddings and I’d want to have loads of people there. I don’t just want a wedding – I want a week of a wedding.

How do you feel about having your first Mother’s Day this week?

I’m so excited – it’s going to be the best! I’m sure Matthew will make it really special for me, just at home, the three of us. I’ll do something with my mum as well at some point, because it’s going to be her first grandma’s Mother’s Day with Noah. This is the start of adventures now.

And what is your life message for Noah?

Be fabulous, be too glam to give a chuffin’ damn and just be yourself. Be kind, caring and don’t take yourself too seriously – like his mother.

Charlotte’s pregnancy journey features on Celebrity Bumps: Famous & Pregnant on MTV (times vary)

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