Saints and Angels
7th October 2006 - New Idea
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All Saints star Tammy MacIntosh faced a medical drama when delivering her beautiful baby son, Ben
Life couldn’t get any better right now for All Saints star Tammy MacIntosh. The stunning blonde loves her new role of being mum to beautiful baby son Benjamin Rhys Butler Yeats, born just two months ago on August 1.
“It’s incredible that you can have this much love for one little person,” says Tammy, overcome with happiness.
With her prolonged bouts of morning sickness, Tammy is the first to admit that she didn’t enjoy being pregnant, and with the last-minute drama that saw her rushed into the operating theatre for an emergency caesarean, she certainly had her share of anxious moments leading up to the birth, but now Tammy is simply smitten with her little baby boy.
“I couldn’t believe motherhood was this great. It really is amazing,” the popular Seven Network star says enthusiastically. “You realise everything you feel for this little being is returned so greatly, you never want to leave them.”
Tammy continued working, filming her role as Dr Charlotte Beaumont in All Saints, until she was about eight months pregnant. She admits to certainly feeling the strain towards the end of her pregnancy.
“It was hard getting around in Charlotte’s two and a half inch heels,” Tammy explains. “My hips and back hurt so much.”
But in every take where her feet were hidden from the camera, she quickly slipped into a comfortable pair of ugg boots.
Tammy was desperately hoping for a natural birth and had carefully practised her breathing exercises, learnt at the prenatal birthing classes Tammy had attended with her husband Mark Yeats.
“But I think I had pregnancy brain kicking in the day we were having our weekly obstetrics chat, a couple of weeks before the baby was due,” she says. “During the regular appointment our obstetrician explained that I had an amniotic leak. I didn’t pay much attention to what she said, until she said if I didn’t go into labour that night, they would induce the birth the following morning. It suddenly dawned on me, when we were about to leave, that Mark and I were going to have a baby – the next day!”
Tammy says she felt so unprepared and apprehensive that night, she remembers standing in the lounge room, looking up at the full moon through the skylight and ‘bawling my eyes out’.
“I realised there was no time to get used to the idea – and absolutely no turning back,” she says. “It was like standing on the edge of a cliff and being told to jump. I was two weeks early and it was strange setting the alarm and driving into hospital at 8am, knowing within a few hours Mark and I were going to have our baby.”
The ‘few hours’ Tammy was anticipating, stretched into six hours and there was no sign of her baby arriving.
“I got into a bath – which was just fantastic – and then tried to find a position that felt comfortable. That wasn’t easy. By 2pm, after enduring long and frequent contractions, I told Mark I wanted an epidural and the anaesthetist came down with this huge 12 gauge needle, which seemed like heaven at that point. Mark was wonderful. He was on his knees trying to keep me calm through all this, and I thought: ‘The baby must be coming any second.’”
But ‘any second; was a long way off.
“Two and a half hours later the midwife checked again and things weren’t going to plan. My obstetrician came in and explained that Ben’s heart rate was dropping and they’d have to rush me into surgery for an emergency caeasarean.”
Baby Benjamin Rhys was born at 4.55pm.
“It’s exactly the same time my husband was born,” Tammy adds. “Mark was simply amazing. He was encouraging me the whole time. We were both pretty tearful when we found out we had a little boy.”
And since they took little Benjamin home, Tammy says she is totally convinced Ben could not have wished for a better father.
“He gets up in the middle of the night, saying: ‘I’ll look after this feed,’ which allows me to get some much-needed sleep.”
Ben weighed in at a very healthy 3.09kg and he was 54cm long at birth.
“I was in so much pain in the latter stages of my pregnancy, because I was getting these hard kicks right under my ribs,” Tammy says. “Once I saw Ben’s long limbs, I had some idea why there was so much kicking. He was just trying to get comfortable.”
“Now that Ben is settling in at home, he’s developing so fast and changing every day. He has beautiful, big blue eyes and he’s just started to give us these amazing smiles the moment you walk into his room.”
The beautiful All Saints star, who will be heading back to work in about six weeks time, says some days are better than others.
“My girlfriend Amanda, who was bridesmaid at my wedding, had a baby daughter just three days before I had Ben and it’s great to have someone you can share the day mothering with. There are days when I wonder how I’m going to get anything done and feel exhausted. You need some time out. I have reached that point a few times. But there are other days when I think: ‘This is great, I could have another baby!’. I feel so fortunate. I’m so in love with both my boys.”
Tammy says that she has missed her fellow cast members on All Saints and she is really looking forward to returning to the show, but she isn’t quite sure what to expect.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to remember the lines. It feels like such a long time since I’ve been there,” Tammy says.
Her TV character Charlotte found out that she was pregnant before Tammy disappeared from the series, but Tammy says she has no idea what is going to happen on that front with the show’s upcoming storylines.
The father of Charlotte’s baby is played by Tammy’s close friend, actor Peter Phelps (he plays paediatrician Doug ‘Spence’ Spencer on the show). But there were signs of possible problems both with Charlotte’s pregnancy and her on-screen relationship before Tammy took her break from All Saints.
“I can’t believe that after Peter delivered my baby on Stingers, I find out I’m pregnant on All Saints and Peter Phelps is the father. Aren’t there any other actors in this country?” Tammy laughs.
Neither Tammy nor Mark have any thoughts on what future career direction their baby son might take at this point. But whatever lies ahead for little Benjamin, Tammy says she has no doubt that giving birth to her beautiful baby son is ‘the greatest thing I’ve ever done.’”
Tammy, who lost her own mother five years ago and her father when she was only three years old, admits that her own family – husband Mark and baby Ben – take priority over everything right now.
Treasuring every day and every look Ben gives her, Tammy is really relishing playing mum for the moment.
“This is definitely the best role I’ve ever had,” she smiles.