While most parents may think they have their birthing plan down to a tee, many will tell you that it rarely goes that way.
For example, Rhys and Jade Brown probably didn’t foresee that their baby would arrive in the living room while Rhys’ hand was out of action in a plaster cast…
Jade, 24, went into labour in the middle of the night and it all happened so quickly she had to give birth on the sofa, waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
Rhys’ left arm was in a huge plaster cast because he had broken his thumb in three places, leaving him unable to use it at all. But that didn’t stop the 28-year-old dad and he safely caught baby Ariana in one hand – while also juggling towels and a phone.
Paramedics arrived minutes later and Rhys quipped ‘I’ve done your job for you’ before they cut the cord and took mum and baby to hospital.
The family are now safely back home in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear – and Rhys joked that changing nappies with one hand was just as hard as delivering babies one-armed.
Explaining the unusual delivery, he said: “I had the cast on one hand and a phone in the other – trying to deliver a baby. I was running around trying to find towels while the woman on the line was trying to give me instructions.
“I bent down and stuck my hand out and the baby just came out. The ambulance arrived two minutes later and they cut the umbilical cord. I said: ‘It’s alright – I’ve done your job for you’.
“It’s funny – Jade was adamant in the run up that she didn’t want me near the business area during the birth. I should have brought my baseball glove – then it would have been fine. But it was quite scary.”
Jade said: “I was so glad that Rhys got to be so involved with the birth of our baby girl and I am so proud of him for delivering her – especially with a cast on his arm. He was amazing during and after the birth and he’s an amazing dad to Ariana.”
Rhys broke his thumb after he fell backwards playing five-a-side football for the first time in six years. His arm was put into a bright blue plaster cast from his knuckles to the middle of his forearm for eight weeks.
A week later girlfriend Jade’s waters broke when she bent down to pick up a sock, and they went to hospital, but she wasn’t dilated enough and they were sent home, on 19 June last year.
Rhys added: “We were told to come back at the next afternoon if nothing happened and they would start her off, so we went home. Jade tried to get some sleep, but by 2am the pain was overwhelming.”
Jade said: “I was trying to just breathe through them but they were getting more intense so I went downstairs and sat with Rhys. I was squeezing his hand every time I got a contraction but as time went on I couldn’t cope with the pain and told Rhys we needed to go to the hospital.”
They called for a taxi, but when things got more serious Rhys dialled 999 and was connected to an operator who told him the ambulance was on the way.
But the situation escalated and he had to get involved. Jade went on: “After a few pushes, our baby girl Ariana was born on the settee. I remember lying with her on my chest and I couldn’t believe how quick it all happened.”
Rhys added: “Jade had no pain relief apart from a couple of paracetamol and some gas and air in the ambulance. I had wanted to do the honour of cutting the umbilical cord but the paramedics said I shouldn’t, because of the situation.
“Apparently we were quite lucky. Lots of stuff could have gone wrong. Ariana is a miracle, really. She was conceived two months after Jade had a miscarriage.”
A spokesperson for North East Ambulance Service confirmed a crew attended.