Sister-in-law helps deliver niece at unplanned homebirth in Letchworth
PUBLISHED: 17:04 12 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:34 14 May 2018
A Letchworth woman has given birth at home for the second time with the help of her sister-in-law after an usually quick labour.
Lucie Davies gave birth to baby Zoe on May 1 at 8.24am at her home, with her sister-in-law Gemma Mitchell stepping in to act as midwife when they realised it was too late to make it to hospital.
Gemma, who has also given birth to a baby girl recently, was originally going to be the designated driver to get Lucie and her partner Daniel to the hospital when she went into labour.
Gemma told the Cometon Friday: “I arrived at the house at about 8.05am after dropping my kids off and we were waiting for a sitter to arrive to look after the other children.
“Five minutes later Lucie was ready to push! There was no way we were going to get to the hospital in time.
“I’ve had four kids of my own, but delivering a baby is completely different.
“I have never had that experience of watching someone else give birth. I called 999 and they talked me through what I had to do, and nine minutes later this baby just popped out.”
The experience wasn’t altogether new for Lucie and Daniel, who helped his partner deliver their now two-year-old daughter Alice at their Letchworth home.
Lucie said: “The first time giving birth at home was really scary and I’m so glad Gemma was there this time.
“When the ambulance crew arrived they gave me some gas and air, and checked me over. Everything was completely fine so I didn’t have to go into hospital.”
The birth of the couple’s first child together, Emily, who is now four, didn’t quite go to plan either – after she was born in hospital but partially in the amniotic sac.
Births like these are known as caul – when part of the membrane covers the babies head or face – or en-caul, when the child is born inside the entire amniotic sac. Caul or en-caul occurs in one in 80,000 births.
Reflecting on the drama of Zoe’s birth, Gemma added: “After I delivered the baby I went shopping and carried on doing my day-to-day things. Only later it clicked and I was thinking, ‘I just delivered a baby today’.
“I just started telling everyone – and people were calling me midwife Mitchell.”