“Stop the car, I’m having a baby!”
Father delivers daughter atside of dual carriagewayas traffic zooms past
AN Eden couple had to make an unexpected kerbside delivery on Saturday — with the speedy arrival of their new baby daughter on a dual carriageway in Carlisle.
Rushing to the city’s Cumberland Infirmary, Hannah and George Henry Morton realised they were not going to make the maternity unit in time and had to make an emergency stop, with the proud but nervous father delivering the baby, Megan Frankie, and her mother phoning for an ambulance.
The couple had left their home at Chapel House, Gamblesby, at about 7am, an hour or so after being woken by their three-year-old daughter, Georgia.
“I was getting a few labour pains when we got up but nothing much. We got organised and set off for hospital but on the way to Carlisle everything just speeded up and I realised the baby was coming,” said Hannah.
“We had left home at about 7am and Megan was born at 7-30, so we hadn’t been hanging about.”
George Henry said: “I first phoned 999 when we got to Rosehill. I asked if they could send an ambulance but they said just keep coming. After we came off the roundabout at Hardwicke Circus on to the dual carriageway Hannah shouted that I had to pull the car over and stop because the baby was coming, but there was no hard shoulder or anywhere to go.
“I pulled into the side on the dual carriageway where the road is a bit wider near the sandstone bridge over the river. Hannah was on the back seat and the baby’s head was already there, so I knelt on the pavement and managed to deliver her.
“I shouted at a few passing drivers of cars and a lorry asking them to phone 999 but nobody was for stopping, so Hannah had to phone 999 herself because I still had my hands full holding the baby.
“We wrapped her in towels we had taken with us, turned the car heater on full and waited for the ambulance. It came quite quickly. The ambulance staff cut the cord and took the two of them to the infirmary and I followed in the car.”
George Henry, a farmer, added: “Everybody has been saying I would be well prepared because of lambing sheep and calving cows. But it’s a whole different thing when it’s your own daughter you are delivering. Thankfully everything was straightforward and there were no complications. We were lucky.”
Hannah, who farms with George Henry and his parents and also works part-time for Eden District Council, said: “The nurses at the maternity unit examined us and did all the usual checks — Megan weighed 7lb 7oz — and we were allowed to go home at 2pm that same day. It was all a bit intense at the time but lovely to be back home so soon with both our girls.”
With one delivery under their belt, the couple have less than six weeks to recover before the start of the next round — a flock of nearly 700 lambing sheep due from 22nd March.