Oh baby – just look at her now!
Little Esmae Noon is now a happy and healthy toddler – despite making a very dramatic entry into the world.
Her 24-year-old mum Beth today revealed how she gave birth home alone even though she was supposed to have antibiotics during labour to stop her new baby contracting a potentially fatal condition.
Beth was at her home in Askern, Doncaster, one day past her due date when she suddenly had two strong contractions and felt the urge to push.
“I was having a little bit of pain, but I thought it was false labour because the pains were so mild,” the 24-year-old said.
“My husband, Thomas, was at football training. I’d asked my sister, Robyn Bennett, to take my eldest daughter Bella, who was 20-months-old at the time, for a while so I could have a shower.
“After I had my shower I was coming down the stairs when I had two big contractions. I ran back up the stairs and felt like I needed to push. I had Esmae on my bed, I’d say it took no longer than 40 minutes.
“I’d left my phone downstairs so I couldn’t call anybody for help when it all happened. Once it had all started I didn’t have time to go and get it either, I just had to get on with it.
“It was all very instinctive, I knew what I had to do and I did it. It was only afterwards that the shock set in and I felt scared.”
Beth, who gave birth to Esmae in August 2014, wrapped the tot in towels before taking her downstairs and ringing her mum Cheri Bennett, who called an ambulance.
“Luckily, mum only lives on the next street so she was round within minutes. I phoned Thomas while we waited for an ambulance and told him Esmae had arrived, he came home quickly.”
Beth was Group B Streptococcus positive so her pregnancy was classed as high risk.
GBS is one of many bacteria that can be found in the human body – it does not usually cause any harm and it is estimated about one in five pregnant women in the UK carries it, according to the NHS.
But there is a small risk GBS can pass to the baby during birth and the infection this causes can lead to serious complications which can be life-threatening, although it is not common.
Mum-of-two Beth was due to have antibiotics during her labour, which reduce the risk a newborn baby will develop a GBS infection.
She said: “We got to Doncaster Royal Infirmary about midday, when we arrived I started to panic about not having the antibiotics and if Esmae had got an infection, but doctors checked us both over and we were fine.
“Esmae was perfect. We had to stay in overnight, but the next day Thomas and I took her home and she’s grown-up just like any other child. She’s a very happy little girl and very healthy.”
Beth and Thomas, 25, are now hoping to have more children – and the young mum has her heart set on another home birth.
“I just want this one to be planned,” she said.
Sharon Pickard, matron for maternity at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, said: “We know that babies can arrive unexpectedly and some women can experience a very short labour.
“This is why we give all our pregnant women the contact numbers of their community midwife, the hospital maternity triage team and the central delivery suite.
“All of which provide a round the clock advice service for women to use if they believe labour is starting.”