I ordered the birth certificates for John Hughes born in Reading in March 1853 (ref 2c 351) checking that the mother’s forename was Emma, and June 1855 (ref 2c 326) again checking the mother’s forename. Both drew a blank. Fortunately, checking that the details matched meant that the process was faster, and also cheaper as a certificate wasn’t actually posted. I’ve also checked in the FreeBMD images for the March quarter of 1856 as its only partly transcribed, but there doesn’t seem to be any relevant entries there. I’m now a bit stumped as to where to look next!