It wasn’t how they’d planned to bring baby Eva Rai into the world.
So when mum Chantelle Edmund, 26, unexpectedly gave birth at home – on the “Welcome” mat no less – it was a something of a shock, especially for Chantelle’s other daughter, Keira Jade and Chantelle’s niece Ellie-Mai.
Keira, who was eight at the time and is now nine, phoned for an ambulance, telling the call handler: “My mum has just had an alien on the floor!” Only for nine-year-old Ellie-Mai to say: “It’s not an alien, it’s a frog!”
Overcoming their surprise and realising who the new arrival really was, the girls rallied round to bring Chantelle towels and water.
Minutes later, Chantelle’s mum Susan, 44, and sister Serrina, 24, arrived to be closely followed by paramedics. Serrina cut the umbilical cord before the ambulance took Chantelle and Eva Rai to Calderdale Royal Hospital to check they were okay.
Chantelle, who lives almost opposite Huddersfield Royal Infirmary at Lindley, said: “I was going to have a planned water birth at HRI with my mum as my birth partner – but it didn’t happen like that.”
Eva Rai was not due to be born until March 10, but made her appearance more than two weeks early.
Chantelle said: “Keira and Ellie-May were both in bed when the contractions started at 10pm. I rang my mum, who lives in Cleckheaton, and I shouted for my daughter to come downstairs. My waters broke and the baby was born at 10.35pm on the ‘welcome’ mat at the bottom of the stairs. It all happened so quickly.
“Keira was horrified. She is just mortified by how babies are born. Until a few weeks ago, she thought they were born through a magic door in my tummy! Now she is besotted with the baby. She loves her little sister – and Keira’s the talk of the school.”
Eva Rai weighed just 4lb 12oz when she was born, but Chantelle, a home care worker who wasn’t even meant to start maternity leave until this month, said: “She is up to her birth weight now. She is amazing. She has not cried for anything other than her feed.”
Chantelle said staff at Reinwood Junior School had asked Keira if she wanted to be a midwife when she grows up. “But she said, no, it’s too disgusting!”
Chantelle said: “Keira was begging me to be allowed to be at the birth in hospital and I said that just wasn’t going to happen. But she got her wish in the end.”