Emma Hayes feared she would end up giving birth at Wembley during Chelsea’s victory over Arsenal in the 2018 FA Women’s Cup Final.
The president of Kingsmeadow, 45, says the pageant – which was a big part of her childhood – will always be cherished.
Hayes’ side are set to meet Manchester City at the Academy Stadium this afternoon, with the Nationals aiming to win the competition for the fourth time after beating Everton last year.
When asked about her most memorable moment in the Cup, she recalled the 2018 final saying: “My best game at Chelsea was ten days after the birth of my son Harry.
“I remember sitting in the chair with us 3-1 thinking, ‘Thank God, I don’t want a premature birth.'”
“I was so relieved that I would have gone into labor at any time.
Maybe I wasn’t supposed to be there but I promised to stay calm.
“I think that’s one of the reasons my son has adapted so well to being a fan.
“That’s because he’s so used to being with me in the mother’s womb at really big moments!
“That’s why I think he’s very comfortable with the noise of the crowd.”
The FA Cup, which Chelsea won twice under Hayes, is a competition fondly regarded by the Blues chief in her current job and during her stint from 2006 to 2008 as Arsenal’s assistant manager.
Hayes added: “Even in my early years at Arsenal with Vic (Akers), the FA Cup was always special, a special competition.
“It is dear to me because it is rooted in my childhood.
“And I’m from North London, and with Wembley, I’ve been there five or six times as a coach and it just felt great, I’m used to being here, it’s a very homely feeling.”
City were boosted with winger Haile Raso returning from injury.
But the hosts will be without midfielders Robbie Mays and Alana Kennedy in defence, with both players tied for the cup.
Boss Gareth Taylor said: “We had the impression that they could come back because their previous teams were eliminated. It’s hugely disappointing.
“What a chance to play in this game and it has been taken away, but we are moving forward and making the most of it. It is quite a challenge.”
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