A new baby is an exciting time for any grandparent-to-be, but it’s an extra special time if they get to participate in the birth of the baby themselves.
This is exactly what happened when community midwife at King’s Mill Hospital, Julie Shaw, was visiting her son and his partner at their home in Mansfield.
Beth Islip, aged 25, from Mansfield, was four days overdue with her second baby when she started to notice lower abdominal cramps and wondered if it was the start of contractions.
She called Julie for advice and the midwife offered to visit their home and look after her granddaughter in the event that Beth and partner Lee “had to rush to hospital”.
Julie arrived at Beth and Lee’s home at about 11pm on Monda, June 10, but it was clear that they would not make it to the hospital in time as Beth’s waters had broke.
Julie called her colleague and Beth’s midwife, Jill Kingswood, and asked her to come over with gas and air.
By the time Jill arrived, and within 13 minutes of Julie’s arrival, Beth had given birth to her new 8lb 9oz baby boy, Alfie, and had him cradled safely in her arms.
Julie said: “When I arrived at Beth and Lee’s home I was really surprised to see that Beth had gone from cramps just minutes earlier to having the urge to push.
“When her waters broke we knew there was no time to get to the hospital so I called Jill for gas and air.
“By the time Jill arrived, Beth was pushing and she gave birth to baby Alfie in her living room without any pain relief.
“I was only meant to be going to look after my granddaughter, Evie, in case Beth and Lee had to go to hospital during the night but as it happened I ended up being present to witness the birth of my grandson.
“It was such a lovely, magical moment to be there for the birth of my own grandson and together I hope that myself and Jill made Beth and Lee feel very safe and special.”
Beth added: “It was such a special moment having Alfie’s grandma deliver him.
“When I was having my daughter, Evie, I tried not to ask Julie too many questions as it was her first grandchild and I really wanted her to enjoy the experience as a grandparent rather than a midwife, but I’m so pleased she ended up delivering my second baby, Alfie in our home.
“It was all very surreal. Having a home birth wasn’t something I had considered beforehand, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”