Flexible working leads to giving birth in a car!

Charlie Day and Alex Burnside founded Sounds Right Phonics Classes for Kids in 2016. They wanted to create a job that they could do flexibly around their young children, so offering phonics classes during the day when their children were at school and nursery meant that they could work without their children even realising it. Sounds Right Phonics Classes for Kids was so popular that in January 2017 they franchised their business and they have 32 franchises across the whole of the UK meaning that lots of mums could work flexibly around their children. Jenna Herycz Sounds Right Phonics franchisee for North Birmingham realised just how flexible the job was when she went into labour the morning she was supposed to be running her Sounds Right Phonics Classes. The busy mum of one woke up on Wednesday 5th September expecting to go and teach her last Sounds Right Phonics class but that wasn’t quite what happened…. 

 At 4.30am when Jenna Herycz woke up suddenly she convinced herself that she wasn’t having contractions and that her baby wasn’t on it’s way! Jenna was supposed to be teaching her final Sounds Right Phonics class that morning before starting her maternity leave! However, by the time 6.30am came she was no longer in denial the baby was definitely on it’s was and there was no way that she would be able to make her Sounds Right Phonics Class that day. She quickly messaged Emilie who would be running classes for her whilst she is on maternity leave to tell her the exciting news! But she had no idea how the next couple of hours where going to pan out…… Jenna decided to quickly straighten her hair before heading to the hospital as she was still waiting for her friend to arrive to babysit her older daughter! But the contractions started speeding up and Jenna had to call her friend to tell her to hurry!! At 8am Jenna and her husband Josh got into the car and travelled to the hospital, the traffic was awful and they realised they were in rush hour! Jenna announced that something ‘didn't feel right’ and Josh decided to phone the hospital, when he was on the phone Jenna said; ‘I feel like I need to push’ and Josh was quickly instructed to turn back around and drive home, panicking he turned around and just as he did Jenna’s waters broke and the hospital transferred Josh’s call to ambulance services. Jenna had another contraction which felt so different from the ones before and something prompted her to pull her trousers down and there was baby’s head!!! Jenna was seriously panicking but instinct took over as on the next contraction….. there was baby! Jenna said; I just picked her up and put her on my chest! Young children were walking past on the way to school!’ And just like that Baby Sienna was born at 8.15am in a car outside Beeches Pool&Fitness Centre on Beeches Road Birmingham. Josh drove back home and the ambulance arrived to care for Sienna! Who had made such a dramatic entrance into the world, Josh said; ‘Jenna said she needed to start pushing and even though I tried calm her down and reassure her that we had plenty of time to make it to the hospital, deep down I knew we had no chance.  One minute there were two of us in the car, the next minute there was three of us.  As much as I tried to concentrate on the road whilst I was driving, all I could really think about was what the heck had just happened and what a superstar Jenna was for just delivering a baby herself and without any pain relief! 

Jenna’s birth story comes just weeks after the NHS delicared a national shortage of midwifes and midwifes leaving the NHS due to ‘staffing levels, the quality of care they are able to give and their workload.’ This teamed with the lack of hospital beds means that many women in labour are being turned away from hospitals. The Royal College of Midwifes has said; ‘We estimate that the NHS in England is short of the equivalent of around 3,500 full-time midwives’


Jenna says; ‘Despite Sienna’s very dramatic birth we were well looked after by the ambulance staff and the hospital once we arrived there. And baby Sienna is just beautiful, and her big sister Alana is loving her new role.’ 


Jenna is now at home looking after her two beautiful girls, but she will be returning back to work at Sounds Right Phonics Classes for Kids in the new year where she will work around her children! Charlie who is the founder of Sounds Right Phonics Classes for Kids says; ‘We couldn’t believe it when Jenna got in touch to say she had given birth in her car, it was all very exciting and we couldn’t believe how fast it happened! One minute we knew she was heading to the hospital and the next minute we had a picture of the baby!’

Jenna, North Birmingham x 

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