Holly Avis was caught by surprise when little Monty decided it was time to leave.
Heavily pregnant, her due date had already been and gone, but Holly was dedicating a huge chunk of her time campaigning for her birth partner to be beside her when her third child eventually arrived.
In the current climate, there is no guarantee new mums will have someone alongside them at the big moment.
Due to safety measures amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, restrictions have been placed on the amount of time that birthing partners are allowed to be present.
Holly, who had a C-Section scheduled, had been battling for her partner to be with her before and after any surgery.
But Monty had other ideas. One morning in August, he started making his exit, and was in such a rush he almost came out in the ambulance en route to the hospital.
Thankfully, Holly held on just long enough, and her healthy baby was born just before 9am in the comfort of KGH Kettering General Hospital.
This was no ordinary birth. The huge interest in Holly and Monty’s story has been drummed up as a result of Holly’s campaign for birth partner rights – which has amassed an incredible 200,000 supporters on Change.org so far.
Simply put, Holly wanted the rules changed so that mums’ chosen birth partners can be with them “from the very start of labour to the moment you are allowed to go home,” as well as for scans and appointments.
Abbi Leibert, who has been campaigning with BirthBliss Academy alongside Holly, stated: “I reached out to Holly before the campaign began because I thought that it would be best to work alongside an existing campaign that had followers.
“Holly took the time to talk to me and I feel very lucky to have caught her before she gave birth to Monty and hear about how she had campaigned locally and been on the Radio Northants, but that parliament had ignored her petition up to that point. I posted updates on her behalf.
“Since the campaign started we have seen another 20,000 signatures – now it’s over 200,000 and we have included it in our open letter to parliament.”
The Change.org campaign states: “The speed of Holly’s dilation only goes to show how many birth partners do not make it to ward in time for their babies births.
“Sitting in the carpark waiting, or even at home, how can they get to the ward in time for active labour when it could all happen so fast?
Abbi adds: “One thing I do really want to get out there to parents is that they have a voice.
“They can question what they are told by hospitals and doctors. They can ask for mental health midwives for additional support and they can always seek the support of a local doula.
“We simply support women emotionally and physically via education and the latest, evidence-based, research. We work WITH midwives, we do not replace them (nor would we ever want to, their job is essential).
“We help birthing people and their partners to advocate for themselves and ensure that they are happy with their options and their care.”
Holly stated: “Not having the partner there from the START puts her at risk of being alone in a horrendous situation.
“Many stories are coming to light that partners ARE missing births as adequate time is not being given to allow the partner to be there on time. If partners were allowed from the start, it simply wouldn’t happen.”
Thankfully, Holly’s birth story had a happy ending.
But the new mum and her supporters are refusing to let their petition fall on deaf ears.
“We mothers NEED OUR PARTNERS WITH US,” says Holly.
“With the correct PPE there is no reason why this isn’t possible now.”
Anyone that is currently pregnant and worried about their situation can visit Aims.org.
Body found at Bolton restaurant and suspected cannabis farm days after fire
A body has been found at the site of a fire in Bolton, days after a blaze ripped through a restaurant.
It’s believed that the fire started on the first floor of the property, with early inquiries suggesting it may have been used as a cannabis farm.
Human remains were found at the premises on Bolton Road in Farnworth.
A criminal investigation is now underway and Greater Manchester Police are appealing for information and footage relating to the incident.
Emergency services had first been called to the area at around 1pm on Monday 27 November, to reports of a fire.
Earlier today, Saturday 2 December, a body was found during a search of the restaurant building, days after the fire.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Naismith of GMP Major Incident Team said: “Work is ongoing to identify the deceased and we are committed to ensuring the potential family members are fully supported and informed of updates in this investigation.
“The loss of life is a tragedy and I understand the upset this news will cause in the local community. I can assure you on behalf of the investigation team that we are determined to get to the bottom of what has occurred and establish the circumstances surrounding the fire.
“I can confirm this fire is being treated as suspicious and if there is any criminal responsibility, it will be brought to light and dealt with appropriately. We are particularly interested to hear from anyone who knows how this building was being used in the lead up to 27 November 2023.
“I would also like to appeal to anyone with information about the fire itself – including if you have any footage (such as CCTV, mobile or dashcam) – to contact GMP’s Major Incident Team.”
You can make a report by calling 0161 856 1995 quoting log number 1485 of 27/11/2023 or via the reporting function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Tameside police officers hailed ‘absolute heroes’ after saving the life of a seven-year-old girl
Two Tameside police officers have been hailed as “absolute heroes” after saving the life of a seven-year-old little girl.
It comes after emergency services were called to an address in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside earlier this week (29 November), and found a young girl who was struggling to breath and coughing up blood after choking on a sweet.
Police Constables Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell, from Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Tameside division, were first on the scene.
To the huge relief of the girl’s parents, who were said to be “understandably distressed” and concerned for her welfare, PC Kincaid jumped straight into action and was able to utilise his first aid training to full effect by going on to successfully dislodge the sweet from the youngster’s throat, and then helping to calm her down before the paramedics arrived.
Whilst PC Kincaid looked after the little girl, PC Blundell did “everything he could” to help the parents remain calm.
Paramedics then took over once they arrived, and the young girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Reflecting on the incident, and hailing his officers “absolute heroes”, Superintendent Mike Walsh, from GMP’s Tameside district, said: “PCs Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell acted without hesitation during the incident, and took control of the situation that they were faced with.
“They deserve every credit for staying calm under extreme pressure and for working together as a team and utilising their training to lifesaving effect, and I’m sure the girl’s parents and family will consider them to be absolute heroes.”
“We’re both glad that we were in the right place at the right time,” PC Kincaid added.
“I have a daughter the same age as the little girl who needed our help, and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was when she started breathing normally and said she was okay after I had managed to dislodge the sweet.