A baby girl has made a dramatic entrance into the world, delivered by her father in the hallway of their Harrogate home.
Newborn Annie Mo arrived suddenly on Sunday, March 17, after just a 30-minute labour.
Her parents, Eirene Power and Matt Watson, had thought the early labour pains were Braxton Hicks.
“We thought we had plenty of time,” said Matt, 39, who had been moving furniture with a friend when he heard Eirene calling out from the bath.
“I went to get the hospital bag, I’d been told time and again how important it was. But she just shouted at me to leave it - ‘We have to go now’.”
Eirene can’t remember shouting at him. Her focus, said the 34-year-old, was getting to the hospital.
“I went into full blown labour as soon as I got out of the bath,” she said. “I made it downstairs, but that was it. I knew the baby was coming.”
Matt called 999, asking for help as he knew an ambulance wouldn’t get there in time.
“There was this slow realisation that I was going to have to deliver this baby myself,” he said. “I just thought ‘what do I do?’ It was like something out of a film. The pilot’s in trouble so someone else comes in to fly the plane. That was me.”
A lady at the ambulance centre control room talked him through what to do.
“It all just happened so quickly,” said Matt. “Suddenly this baby was in my arms.
“But she wasn’t breathing. I turned her over and smacked her bottom, and she started to breath. Only then, as the ambulance arrived, everything came back into focus.”
Paramedics quickly took over but Eirene says Matt was the true hero.
“What an amazing thing for a father to do,” she said. “She didn’t make a sound at first; that second of silence was the worst second ever. But Matt knew what to do instinctively. Each mother has a birth story. It’s a club, with its own initiation.
“Now Matt has his own tale to tell. Not many men do.”
The Watsons, of Dragon Road, already have three children, Felix, 14, Jaygo, 11, and Sophie, six.
“Felix was a great help, standing by me and making phone calls,” said Matt. “Sophie was really concerned. But Jaygo just carried on playing on the computer. No biggie.”
Annie Maureen (Mo), born at 9.15am weighing 7lb 6oz, has been named after both of her grandmothers.
“It’s a massive privilege to deliver your own child,” said Matt. “It’s our fourth, I thought I’d seen it all before. But this is something I will never forget.
“We’ve got such a super special memory to share with Annie Mo.
“We’re just so thankful that nothing went wrong.”
Web designer Matt has blogged about the birth on his website, visit www.dragondrop.org to read his account.