Lee Brindle knew he would have to deliver his and wife Samantha’s third-born there and then. On his own.
Incredibly, this was not the first time construction worker Lee, 36, found himself in this terrifying situation.
He delivered their second child in a hospital CAR PARK after they were again caught short.
He is now considering changing career to become a midwife.
Lee says: “Midwives do such a brilliant job, day in and day out. I’m in awe.
“We need more in the UK and it’s something I’m passionate about, so I’m looking into retraining.
“I’ve delivered two of my own children and to qualify you have to deliver 40 babies, so I’ve only got 38 to go.”
Samantha, 34, thinks he is just the man for the job. She says of his latest heroics: “It’s hard not to think afterwards of the things that could have gone wrong, but in the moment Lee kept me very calm.
“We have three kids so it’s not the ideal time for him to give up his job and go back to school, but he would be a brilliant midwife. I’ve given him good practice.”
The couple, from Ditton, Kent, are sharing their story to support International Day of the Midwife, which is tomorrow.
One in three midwives feels under-appreciated, a survey by nappy firm Pampers found, and 62 per cent do not have time for a break on shift.
But Lee and Samantha know exactly how challenging, but rewarding, the job of delivering babies really is.
Their firstborn, son Bobbie, now eight, arrived after a straightforward eight-hour labour at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital.
But next child Alice, now five, came into the world in the car park at Kent’s Tunbridge Wells Hospital — and latest addition Rosie came last week, at home, weighing 6lb 2oz.
Samantha says: “With Alice, we made it as far as the hospital car park. She was born in the car. I was panicking but Lee was calm.
"He helped me deliver her, then ran for help. My labour had been only two to three hours.
WHAT TO DO IF IT HAPPENS TO YOU
“If you can’t get through to the labour ward, instead call 999 immediately. They will be able to give the appropriate instructions, as happened in this case.
“While you are on the phone to 999, ambulance services would get in contact with your labour ward to tell them what is happening, so they can get back in touch and be aware that you’ll be picked up by the ambulance and taken to hospital if appropriate.”
“With Rosie, we really didn’t want that to happen again, so we decided to go to hospital early. I’d rather have been in there waiting.
“But I started to feel tummy pains at about 6.30pm, Lee took the other children to a neighbour and was only gone a few minutes.
"By the time he came back I knew the baby was coming and I told him to call an ambulance.
“He called 999 at around 7.10pm and by 7.23pm Rosie was born. My labour had been under an hour.”
Lee had to act fast as the umbilical cord was around Rosie’s neck.
He says: “When I phoned 999, the operator talked me through what to do. But as the head came out, I saw the cord was around the baby’s neck.
"They told me not to pull her, I just had to wait and ease her out with the next contraction.
“When the baby was born, I untangled the cord and she let out a big scream. I wrapped her in towels to keep her warm.
“You have to support the head so it doesn’t come out too quickly.
"I kept telling myself thousands of women around the world give birth like this, without a sea of white coats to help.”
Lee hadn’t even thought to check if he had a boy or a girl.
He says: “It was only at the end of the call that I realised we had another girl.
"I was shellshocked — not just then but for a good few days.”
Paramedics arrived shortly after Rosie was born, to cut the cord and check over mother and baby. Samantha was then taken to hospital, where the placenta was delivered. But she was quickly discharged.
Lee had done a brilliant job — although he does admit: “I was relieved to see those blue flashing lights arrive.”
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