A GRAND-DAD has proved to be quite the midwife after helping deliver his grandson in the back of his camper van – 27 years after delivering his own son in the same scenario.
Rob Hill, of Orchard Way, Lancing, received a phone call at around 10pm on Saturday, January 7, to tell him his daughter Claire had gone into labour, and needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible.
So, with Claire’s fiancé Darren Gulliver in tow, the trio took off for Worthing Hospital in Rob’s camper van, but despite valiant efforts to get to there from the couple’s home in Gardner Road, Fishersgate, Rob had to pull over outside Brooklands in Brighton Road.
The 57-year-old grand-dad said: “Darren was in the back with Claire when I heard him say ‘I can see the head!’. So I pulled over and got out to help. It was all over in a couple of minutes, and the ambulance crew arrived very shortly afterwards. I am just very grateful they were so efficient.”
The experience was something of a déja-vu for Rob, who delivered his son David on the journey to the hospital 27 years ago.
“I guess you could say I have a bit of experience,” he said, “but it is just a relief that everything turned out OK.”
Darren, father to baby Max, said he was thankful Rob was by his side to help him deliver his son, which he described as “the most terrifying experience of his life”. He said: “I was really glad Rob was there, I felt like he knew what to do. When Max was born he took him straight away and wrapped him up, then the paramedics cut the cord.
“I’m just so grateful both Claire and Max are OK, because it could have gone drastically wrong.”
Claire, 24, said the whole experience was “a bit crazy”.
“It was just over so fast,” she said. “Our first baby, Emie, was four hours, and I thought that was fast.
“Funnily enough, it was only after the birth that I realised that all the cars going past must have seen everything! How embarrassing. But Max is a very content, healthy little baby, and everything is going really well.”
She added: “I felt so sorry for Darren, who had to do everything! We’re both still in shock. But I’m glad dad was there, he’s very good in these situations.”
Darren, 27, and Claire are set to be married within the next year.
Darren said: “Emie, who is two, is very good with her brother and we are all very happy together. We want to get married this year, but after Max’s birth, I think we all need a bit of time to settle down.”