#babysister | #nanny | Cork girl, 8, praised after helping to deliver her baby sister at home

An eight-year-old girl has been praised after helping to deliver her baby sister at their home.

Emma Hartnett, from Co Cork, went into labour a fortnight early and her daughter Leah sprung into action by flagging down paramedics.

She told how husband Jonah and child came to the rescue when there was not enough time to take her hospital to deliver Ali.

Emma said: “We were kind of anxious because of the things that are happening at the moments with restrictions in Cork University Maternity Hospital.

“We were kind of thinking ‘the sooner the better’.

Signs at the entrance to Cork University Hospital following the COVID-19 outbreak.

“But little did we know she would come early and then give us such a surprise that she wasn’t going to give us any time to get to the hospital.”

The mum told how her waters broke at around 7am two weeks ago at their third-floor apartment in Ballincollig.

She said: “I woke up. I suppose psychologically I decided to labour as long as I could at home because the recommendation was that dad couldn’t come into the hospital with me until the latter end of the labour.

“I was thinking in my head, ‘Stay at home as long as you can. Try and get as far as you can so that the two of us could go together as for the whole pregnancy we were together as a team.’”

“By the time we got my little girl Leah up out of bed and were preparing her to leave for the hospital, we got to the front door where we had to do a u-turn and go back. The baby had other ideas.”

Jonah and Leah helped Emma after she got an extremely strong contraction.

Her husband rang the midwife and she told him he would have to deliver the baby.

A relatively calm and composed Leah kept a lookout for the ambulance and ran down the stairs to flag down the paramedics as her baby sister was making her arrival into the world.

Emma said Ali was delivered on Leah’s bed.

She told the Neil Prendeville Show on Cork’s Red FM: “She was surrounded by Leah’s cuddly toys in a nice child- friendly environment.

“It’s weird it happened so quickly. The waters broke and Ali was born 40 minutes later so there wasn’t much time. I just thought this
is happening and I was listening to my body.

“Jonah played a blinder, he was so calm. The midwife was giving him step-by-step instructions over the phone on what should be happening.

“He was telling me what to do but we keep looking back on it and ask, ‘How the hell did we do it?’

“It’s really surreal.”

Emma was full of praise for the midwives who talked her husband through the delivery.

And Leah said she was thrilled with the new arrival to the family.

She added: “I was hoping it would be a girl but I thought it would be a boy.

“Sometimes I was scared, sometimes I was crying and sometimes I was excited and that sort of stuff.

“I went down when I saw the ambulance coming. I told them the baby was already born and daddy delivered the baby with my help.

“They were very proud of me.”




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