A hands-on dad delivered both of his daughters at home – almost a year apart.
Super dad Matt Davis sprang into action after paramedics and midwives failed to arrive on time twice.
Electrician Matt first had to help wife Emma deliver baby Aria in their bedroom in July 2019.
And amazingly the 29-year-old had to do the same for baby Thea 51 weeks later after a rapid 17-minute labour.
Civil servant Emma, 29, said: “If you ask any woman would their husband be capable of delivering their baby they would say ‘nope!’
“And I would have thought the same about Matt – I never thought I’d be able to do it alone either.
“Matt hates blood and sick and bodily fluids so I thought he’d panic, but he was actually so calm.
“It could have been life or death for our babies but it’s not the paramedics’ fault that I have them at lightning speed.
“Aria took 45 minutes and Thea was here in 17 minutes – I’m sure most mum’s would love that.
“When it’s happening you fear the worst – people have degrees in midwifery and it’s not something your husband does.
“Because they were born within a year of each other they are called Irish twins.
“It is pretty special we managed to get through it twice and when we tell people they are absolutely shocked.”
And electrician Matt, also 29, added: “It honestly feels amazing knowing I brought both of the girls into the world. Well, helped, because obviously Emma did most of the hard work.
“It really was a surreal experience and I won’t ever forget it.”
Aria was first to arrive in July 2019 in their bedroom weighing 6lbs 10oz while her sister Thea was born on the living room corner sofa weighing just 6lbs 1oz the following June.
After Aria’s dramatic birth, her parents, from Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, got married while jokes were made during the speeches about Matt starting a new career in midwifery – only for him to deliver another baby just months later.
Emma also has a son, Jovi, nine, from a previous relationship and Matt was taking him to school on the morning of July 4, 2019, but he was forced into action minutes after getting back home.
It was two days before their daughter was due but Emma woke up with severe pains.
She recalled: “Matt was outside doing the washing and I opened up the window to say I had really bad pains and I think it might be happening.
“He was like ‘Alright then I will just finish hanging this out’ because he thought we’d have hours yet and didn’t want to get a telling off for doing half a job.”
But Matt was soon on the phone to the midwife while Emma sat in agony at the side of the bed.
The midwife suggested running Emma a bath.
“Our hot water only went and packed up!” Emma said. “It was freezing and I was like there’s no chance I’m getting in that. I would have loved to get in the bath.”
But Emma’s contractions suddenly became more frequent and she lay on the bed begging for help while Matt frantically dialled the paramedics and the midwives begging them to come.
Emma said: “The midwife asked Matt if there was any blood and he lifted the towel and said there’s a head! I knew then I wasn’t going to hospital.
“Just a few minutes later the baby was out. Matt made sure she was facing the right way, he checked her airways and he used his shoelace to tie the umbilical cord to stop the blood going back up. I don’t know how he kept his cool.
“That was at 9.09am and help didn’t arrive until 9.27am. It felt like hours and it was so scary.
“I couldn’t move my body and the baby was wrapped in a blanket and Matt was trying to keep her warm and stroking her head. She made a little whimper but that was it.
“I couldn’t even see her but occasionally I saw this little hand stick up which showed me she was OK.”
Not long after, the paramedics, midwives and even the water man arrived at the home.
And it wasn’t long before Matt was making jokes once it was confirmed that mum and baby were doing OK.
Emma said: “He had put on his shoes and realised the lace was missing. He said I owed him a new pair which I didn’t find funny at the time!”
And amazingly just three months later Emma found out she was pregnant again.
It came as a surprise even though the pair wanted another child together in the future.
“We had our wedding the following month so my first thought was how the hell will I fit into my dress now?” Emma said.
“We made jokes about what if the baby was delivered again without help but we thought that would be impossible.”
It was June 28, 2020 and the newlyweds were finally preparing to go to sleep after a long day of looking after the two kids.
But just before midnight, Emma got up to fetch a drink.
She recalled: “We were exhausted and just wanted to sleep. I went to the bathroom and my water broke and I got sick.
“I just knew it was happening and we wouldn’t have time to get to the hospital even though we planned to have it at home this time – albeit with professional help.
“We phoned the midwife and she wasn’t on call so another one was on her way from 30 minutes away.
“I thought ‘here we go again’.”
Emma climbed downstairs and lay on the corner sofa as planned but said the pains in her stomach were excruciating.
It was six days before her daughter was due.
She said: “I just couldn’t believe this was happening again. I was screaming at Matt saying ‘Where is the help?’
“I just remember thinking why isn’t anybody here again and I really was panicking and going in and out of consciousness.
“Once again it only took a few minutes and a few pushes and this time Thea was out.”
Matt’s mum, Michele, also arrived to help.
“Matt was on the phone and got his shoelace ready to tie the umbilical cord and she said to leave it and that that’s not how things are done. He was like this is what I did last year,” Emma said.
“There was so much panic although I trusted Matt this time.
“Again the baby didn’t make much noise and I couldn’t move or see her. I didn’t get to hold her for the first 15 minutes and that was really hard.
“It was quite traumatic but somehow we managed to get through it again. The midwife arrived another 15 minutes later and after checking the baby she handed Thea to me.
“It was just pure relief. I couldn’t believe this had happened again.
“The funny thing was my two kids upstairs slept through the whole thing. There’s a picture of us all hours later and it’s the first ever one of us taken as a family. It’s my favourite and that moment was so special.”
Emma and Matt now want to share their story for the first time to give hope to parents giving birth during the pandemic.
Emma said: “Having a baby without help is frightening and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. There’s no chance of transfusions or pain relief and your body can shut down at any time.
“But I hope our story can give people hope. If we can do it twice it is possible. We’ve heard the stories about dads not being allowed into the labour wards during the birth and it is heartbreaking.
“This actually made us bond more as a family and it will always be special.
“After Matt delivered our babies I actually found out that both my parents were born at home too!
“So now I’m looking forward to telling my daughters how they were born. We still can’t believe it ourselves.”