FATHERS are usually on hand to provide support during childbirth, but for one Bradford dad he was front and centre as his baby daughter was not waiting round for the midwife.
Joseph Guest, of Oxenhope, called for paramedics and a midwife after his partner Charlotte Symonds went into labour at their home on Thursday evening.
However this was no long labour as in a “crazy half an hour” Mr Guest delivered his family’s new baby girl at home, being guided every step of the way by a Yorkshire Ambulance Service call handler.
He had to step in and assist his partner with the birth as both community midwives were coming from an hour away, one from Clitheroe and the other from beyond Settle.
Mr Guest thanked the service for its “amazing” help, and said that yesterday morning his partner and their new baby girl Ophelia Joules were both doing well at home.
He said he and his partner had been planning on a home birth after she had assured him there wouldn’t be any hitches, but their jokes about having to deliver the baby himself had backfired.
Mr Guest said: “Our baby had been due on January 5 so was a couple of days late when my partner went into labour at about 6.30pm.
“We’d planned a home birth initially and we’ve had children previously so we knew what to expect, and I rang the hospital to say we needed a midwife and they said they’d send someone out.
“At 7.30pm I got a call from the midwife saying she was coming all the way from Clitheroe which was a bit further than we anticipated, and the contractions were starting to get quicker.
“I was telling Charlotte to hold off until the midwife got here, and then I saw the head poking out and this little ball of black hair.
“I did panic slightly, we needed help and the midwife was 40 minutes away, so I called 999 and was put through to a lady called Jessica was amazing and who talked me through it.
“Within two pushes her head was out and then with the next push our baby was born and was on the bed!
“She told me to get towels to keep mum and baby warm, and some string to tie around the umbilical cord.
“She was born at 8.01pm and the paramedics and midwife both arrived at 8.30pm, it was a very long, intense half an hour.
“Charlotte did amazing, it wasn’t quite what we expected. She wanted a home birth and I wasn’t so keen, but she assured me the midwife would be here straight away.
“We had joked I would end up having to deliver the baby; that backfired a bit! Thankfully there were no complications and I didn’t have much to do and it all fell into place.
“The midwife just had to deal with the placenta and do a bit of paperwork and that was job done, she was gone by 10pm.”
Mr Guest said a second midwife is deployed for home births, who stops at hospital for gas and air on the way. On Thursday she had to come from beyond Settle, meaning when she did arrive “everything had been done”.
Both his partner and daughter have been getting a much deserved rest since the birth, Mr Guest said.
“Charlotte has been chilling, and Ophelia is doing great. She’s had a couple of feeds but has mainly been sleeping.”