Inspiring Mama Series: Emma Jackson

Emma Jackson is 27 and a single mum to Ethan-James who is 20 months old. She worked in a busy day nursery after leaving school in 2002 until 2007. She then worked at a plant hire company until 2009 and then in Wales until 2010. On the 3rd of November 2010 she had a life changing accident which resulted in a 5 week hospital stay. She had 10 operations in 7 days and has had 6 more since. It took the emergency services 1 hour and 35 minutes to get her out of her car which had dropped down a 30ft. embankment. She’s been left with scars for life as well as mobility issues. But she hasn’t let any of this stop her going after what she wants. She is one brave mama!

1463750_353538631459729_1870412904_n

NM: You’ve been through quite a bit in the last few years and you’re still fairly young. Was wanting a child something you always had in mind or something you realised after your accident?

EJ: I have always wanted children but timescale wise it wasn’t something I could pinpoint. I was told I was infertile in 2005 and this was heartbreaking as I always dreamed of being a mum. After the accident I realised how much we take for granted and how short life is so I set about fertility treatments and ways to become a parent as a single mum.

NM: Being a single parent is a tough job but you took it on voluntarily. What motivates you?

EJ: Being a single mum is very hard work but every moment, every smile, giggle and cuddle is so rewarding. I don’t see it as a challenge as I’ve never known anything different.

NM: What method did you choose to have your son, Ethan-James? And why?

EJ: The method I chose to have my son was artificial insemination using donor sperm. I chose this way over adoption, fostering, etc. as I wanted to carry my own child and be the biological mother.

NM: Were there any risks with conceiving Ethan-James so soon after the accident? You were young and could have possibly waited a little longer?

EJ: No, no risks but my fertility specialist said 25 (age) was cutting it if I wanted to try as I needed medications, etc. But operations did have to wait till I had him.

NM: Does the National Health Service (in the UK) cover artificial insemination? I’m guessing it’s quite an expensive process?

EJ: The NHS in my area didn’t. I don’t know if they still don’t or do. IVF, you get 3 cycles but again not in our area. You have to go out of area. I did mine privately.

NM: For those who are considering having a baby without a partner, what advice would you give them?

EJ: If you are considering becoming a parent without a partner I would say the most important things are to have good family and friends for support. I have amazing friends and family. Think long and hard about the financial part. Also being the baby’s sole carer, you don’t get a day off if you’re tired or ill. You still have to look after them 100%, there’s no going to bed to recover, etc. whilst the other half helps out.

For more information on artificial insemination and what it involves, click here.

Water Baby

Ever since S was born, he has always loved water. He was never one of those new borns who cried every time he had to have a bath or a baby who didn’t like being taken swimming. In fact, quite the opposite. I once put him in the bath just to calm him down and it settled him immediately. He is a total water baby!

When he was 15 months old I started taking him for swimming lessons. I was a little nervous about submerging him initially but when I saw how he coped, it put all my fears to rest. It took him a few times to get the “ready, go…dunk” signal but now he knows when it’s coming.

Yesterday I took him swimming, he was having the time of his life in the baby pool (he could stand) and so was walking around pulling his inflatable toys about. Suddenly some children started splashing near him and S lost his balance and fell forward. My heart was in my mouth and I leaned in to pick him up when suddenly I see him kicking and moving his arms, “swimming” in his own little way to the edge of the pool. PROUD MUMMY MOMENT!! I knew he enjoyed his swimming lessons and of course the water in general but I didn’t realise how much he’d picked up from the 8 classes we went to.

Even after falling in, S didn’t cry or want to get out of the water. In fact he kept bending his knees trying to attempt it again. He never ceases to amaze me!

In my opinion, knowing how to swim is very important and the earlier children learn, the better. It’s one of those abilities you never know when you’ll need, it can be a real life saver!! Drowning is one of the biggest causes of accidental death in young children. Getting into the pool early and often is the key to success when it comes to teaching children how to swim.

It’s also important to have an accredited swimming teacher, especially if your child is young. A few months ago I saw a YouTube video teaching babies between the age of 6-12 months how to turn over in a pool and float on their backs. It’s amazing to watch how such a young baby stays safe in the face of a water accident.

5681b0c129e08457333632014282dfdf

*Water temperature for a baby should be around 30 degrees.