‘I realised the baby was coming so dialled 999’ – Stotfold mum recalls A1(M) birth

Simon with baby brother Sebastian who was born on the hard shoulder of the A1(M).

Simon with baby brother Sebastian who was born on the hard shoulder of the A1(M). - Credit: Archant

The mother of a baby boy who was born on the hard shoulder of the A1(M) has spoken about how policemen and paramedics came to her aid after realising she wasn’t going to make it to hospital.

Baby Sebastian is doing well after his dramatic birth

Baby Sebastian is doing well after his dramatic birth - Credit: Archant

Heavily pregnant Gillian Whittaker was returning to her Stotfold home with husband Mark when she felt the baby coming.

The couple had been to drop off their three-year-old son Simon at his grandparents house and were travelling along the A1(M) when Gillian decided she needed to call an ambulance.

“When I had my first son I was in Lister Hospital for about 10 hours so I thought I had more time,” said the 37-year-old.

“But I started having contractions and realised the baby was coming so dialled 999.

“My husband was driving and thought we could make it to Lister but I said: ‘We need to pull over’ as I felt like I needed to push.

“The emergency responder was talking to me and told me to lay down in the back of the car after we stopped on the hard shoulder. I didn’t want it to happen but all I could think was that I needed to push.”

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At that point police officers Neil Crosier and Ben Harper arrived on the scene, thinking the car had broken down near to Junction 4 for Hatfield.

After realising Gillian was about to give birth, they closed the inside lane.

Recalling the moment, Gillian said: “The police officers had just started their shift and were driving along the motorway when they saw my legs sticking out of the car. Neil held my hand and tried to calm me down – I think I squeezed quite hard!

“The ambulance arrived shortly after and they persuaded me in with gas and air, but while we were driving towards the hospital I had a couple of contractions and the paramedics Lorna Foster and Ruth Woolhead said the baby was crowning so we stopped again.”

Five minutes later baby Sebastian, pictured above left, was born – three days earlier than his October 29 due date – weighing 6lbs 12oz.

Mark and Gillian, who was later told her labour lasted just 40 minutes, have given their son two middle names – Neil and Ben – in recognition of the police officers’ help.

She said: “We are just so grateful for everyone’s help. First of all the policeman who stopped and closed a lane of the A1(M) – that was really nice although I wasn’t worried about protecting my dignity by that point!

“And the two paramedics Lorna and Ruth who helped deliver my baby, both me and my husband are so grateful they knew what they were doing.”

Gillian added: “I think my older son Simon thought it was quite exciting as he’s got an emergency book which has an ambulance attend an incident on a motorway. He keeps saying that’s how I had Sebastian!”

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