This was one of NZH Lifestyle's top stories for 2017

A young mum gave birth to her baby on her kitchen floor after going 39 weeks without knowing she was pregnant.

Emma Crofts-Wilson, 19, from Christchurch, was home alone when she went into labour unexpectedly with her daughter Hannah-Marie Teira, now 11 months.

She began experiencing intense stomach and lower back pains the night before, but chalked it up to a bad stomach ache. Emma felt the urge to push-but it wasn't until she looked down and saw her baby's head popping out that she knew she was in labour.

A happy and healthy Hannah-Marie Teira. Photo / Caters
A happy and healthy Hannah-Marie Teira. Photo / Caters

Incredibly the first-time mum gave birth all by herself and even had the presence of mind to cut the umbilical cord with kitchen scissors before she texted her mum Ara-Marie "please don't be mad or angry, but I've just had a baby. I don't know what to do".

Emma's family raced home to be by her side and she was rushed to hospital where her new daughter Hannah-Marie was declared fit and healthy at six-and-a-half-pounds (3kg).

Emma, who lost a litre of blood during the birth, said: "I didn't know what was happening. I just felt a major stinging feeling and when I looked down I saw a head.

"That's when it hit me. The next thing I knew, I had a baby in my arms.

"I was in complete shock and didn't know what to think, but I managed to cut her umbilical cord with a pair of kitchen scissors and wrapped her in a towel.

"Then I tried to clean up all the blood."

In the months leading up to Hannah-Marie's birth, Emma said she had no idea that she was with child and that she experienced irregular periods.

Looking back, the young mum now recalls that she craved KFC - which she never usually ate - and that her desire to drink alcohol simply disappeared.


She didn't notice any weight gain either, but admits that her baggy clothes would have made it hard to tell if she was getting bigger.

Emma said: "I noticed that I was eating more, but not a lot more than usual. Apart from the occasional KFC craving, which isn't normally like me, I ate a very stable diet.

Emma Crofts-Wilson at about 4-5 months pregnant. Photo / Caters
Emma Crofts-Wilson at about 4-5 months pregnant. Photo / Caters

"I used to go out drinking on the weekends with my friends, but I noticed that I didn't want it anymore. I felt sick just by looking at it."

Emma, who lives at home with her parents and younger sister, doesn't recall her water breaking, but says she began experiencing stabbing pains "like sharp knives" in her stomach the evening before she had Hannah-Marie.

Figuring it was just a bad stomach ache, Emma took some Panadol - but to no avail. By the next morning, when the pain had worsened, she hopped in the shower, hoping for a bit of relief, and by about 2.45pm she was in full-blown labour.

After about seven minutes of pushing, little Hannah-Marie was born on February 11, 2016.


She said: "I was home alone and it was terrifying. I didn't even scream. I think I was just in shock.

"When she was born, I used a pair of kitchen scissors to cut her umbilical cord and then I wrapped her in a towel and made sure she was safe and breathing.

"Then I texted my mum something along the lines of, 'please don't be mad or angry, but I've just had a baby. I don't know what to do.

"She called me and said, 'you better be joking!' but of course, I wasn't. While I waited for her to get home, all I could think to do was to clean up the blood. Doctors later told me that I'd lost about two units (approx 1 litre).

Crofts-Wilson with her daughter Hannah-Marie Teira. Photo / Caters
Crofts-Wilson with her daughter Hannah-Marie Teira. Photo / Caters

"When mum got home half an hour later, she fell to her knees and cried. While we were waiting for the ambulance, my dad and little sister came home and they had no idea what was happening.

"They saw all the blood and my dad Carl-Nicholas said, 'whose baby is that?' It didn't click that it was mine."


Ten minutes later, an ambulance arrived to take mum and daughter to hospital, where Emma delivered the placenta and then had surgery to repair a tear.

All the while, baby Hannah-Marie, who is named after Emma's ambulance driver and late grandmother, was checked over by doctors and deemed healthy at just under 3kg.

While they can't be sure exactly, doctors estimated that Emma was 39 weeks pregnant at the time she gave birth.

Emma said: "I didn't have an instant connection with her, but it came while we were in hospital.

"Her father was a one-night stand - an Australian guy who was over in New Zealand on holiday with his friends.

"I don't know his name, so I wouldn't even know where to look for him, but my friends and family have been so supportive of us.


"My dad's sister shared our story on Facebook and random strangers started dropping off donations of clothes and car seats and supplies for us.

"We're very lucky."

After Hannah-Marie's first birthday, which is next month, Emma plans to return to school, where she will study science.