Lianne Brennan, 23, was home alone when she had a 7lb 2oz shock…she had to deliver her own baby! And she didn't even know she was pregnant! Here Lianne, from Altrincham, Manchester, explains...
Clearing away the empty glasses, I yawned.
‘I’m ready for bed,’ I told one of my colleagues. It was 3am this April and I’d just finished my shift working in a bar.
A former hairdresser, these days I juggled bar work with being a single mum to Lola-Rose, 3, and Jasmine, 17 months. Jasmine was with her dad for the evening and my mum Karen, 50, had Lola-Rose. So I was looking forward to a good night’s kip.
By the time I got home, my back was killing me. It’d been giving me grief for weeks, but I’d just put it down to carrying heavy crates of booze at work. That and the fact I’d had spinal surgery aged 14 after breaking my back in PE. It was always giving me gyp.
I managed to get a few hours’ sleep, but I was restless. So I laid on the sofa, watched TV. Then suddenly, when I coughed, I felt something wet splash down my legs.
The feeling was familiar…a bit like my waters had broken.
Impossible, I thought. But as I sat up, I felt a familiar cramp tear through me.
That felt like a labour pain!
Minutes later, another came. Then another… I gulped as it dawned on me.
I’m pregnant. And about to give birth!
Terrified, I burst into tears. How has this happened? How did I not know? I panicked.
Suddenly, everything started to add up. Months ago I’d had a fling with a mate, Jamie, 24. He was in the Army and we’d agreed to keep things casual.
I’d stopped taking the Pill after having Jasmine. I was due to have the contraceptive injection, but I’d been so busy with the girls and work, it’d slipped my mind. My periods had always been irregular, so I’d not thought it odd that I’d not had one.
And I’d put my bloated tummy down to not losing the baby weight after having Jasmine the year before.
But all along, I’d had another bun in the oven!
I didn’t have time to think as the pains started getting more intense. Rushing around my flat, I couldn’t find my mobile phone. I lived in a second-floor flat, too, and I feared I wouldn’t make it downstairs in time to call for help.
I’m going to have to deliver this baby myself, I realised.
Climbing into bed, I tried to calm myself down. You can do this, I kept telling myself.
The next half an hour passed in a blur. I was still in shock. As my contractions intensified, I started to push. And within minutes, my baby girl arrived.
Scooping her up, I held her in my arms until I heard her cry. Then I placed her on the bed next to me and delivered the placenta. It felt so unreal…
After, without really thinking, I picked up a pair of scissors from my days as a hairdresser and cut the cord. I pulled a hairband from my hair and tied it around the cord to stem the bleeding.
Suddenly, the doorbell buzzed. It was my neighbour asking to borrow my phone charger.
‘Sorry,’ she said, seeing I was in my nightdress. ‘Have you just got out of the bath?’
‘No,’ I spluttered back. ‘I’ve just had a baby!’ She went white with shock and phoned for an ambulance.
‘Don’t worry, everything will be OK,’ she reassured me.
Moments later, me and my baby were being rushed to Wythenshawe Hospital. As the reality of what’d happened dawned, I was terrified for my baby, who I named Echo-River.
Unaware of my pregnancy, I’d been drinking and smoking for the last nine months. Thankfully, doctors confirmed she was perfectly healthy and weighed 7lb 2oz.
They kept us in for a few days, and Mum brought Lola-Rose and Jasmine in to visit.
‘Surprise!’ I told them. Jasmine was too young to understand, but Mum had already told Lola-Rose the news
Apparently, she’d burst into tears thinking she had to swap Jasmine for a new little sister.
‘Silly sausage,’ I told her. ‘You’ve got two baby sisters now!’
Back at home, I prepared to tell Jamie. He was away with work, so I sent him a text. You’re not going to believe this but I’ve had a baby. You’ve got a daughter.
A few days later, I got a reply. I can’t believe it! he said. He agreed to come home as soon as he could.
When he finally met Echo-River later that month, he had tears of joy in his eyes. ‘She’s gorgeous,’ he said.
And Echo-River brought us closer together.
‘I want us to be a proper family,’ Jamie said. I agreed to give things a go.
Now, Echo-River’s 5 months old, and Jamie and I couldn’t be happier with our little bundle. Nobody can believe I delivered her all by myself. But I just did what I had to do. I still have to pinch myself to believe she’s really here.
She gave me the shock of my life. But she really is the most perfect little surprise.