A couple have praised ambulance workers for helping them after their baby was born in their bathroom.
Matt Chamberlain, 31, dialled 999 from their Yapton home at 11.15pm and by 11.17pm, he and fiancée Chelcie Chittenden’s baby girl had been born.
First-time mum Chelcie, 28, said: “At 10.30am my waters had gone and at 3pm my midwife came to visit and confirmed I was one to two centimetres dilated.
“We stayed at home as long as possible, it got to about 8pm and decided it was time to make the move into hospital so off we went.
“I was examined but disappointingly I was only 2-3cms and at 10.30pm we left hospital and went home.
Chelcie, a paediatric nurse at St Richard’s Hospital, said: “I felt a strong contraction and went to the bathroom.
“My body just told me to push and after a few pushes the head was crowning.
“I told Matt to call the ambulance which he did.
“But then two minutes later another couple of pushes and she was out.
“Matt was with me, he was on the phone to the ambulance service so his hands were tied, so it was me who caught her.
“She immediately cried so that was such a relief.
“The whole thing was just such a shock, we’d only just been in hospital and then suddenly our baby was there.
“I thought I was in for a long night but she had other ideas.”
Chelcie and Matt are now the proud new parents of baby Zahra, born two days early at 11.15pm, weighing 5lb 9oz. “She’s little, healthy and perfect,” Chelcie said.
Although far from the couple’s plan of a water birth in hospital, they say the experience has in fact made the birth experience even more special.
Chelcie said: “We are so happy she was born at home.
“Although not the ideal situation in hospital with staff around us, it’s actually really nice and it’s made us feel like a close-knit family.
“We really feel like we did it together and Matt was amazing, he kept me calm and did everything he had to.”
A crew of two from South East Ambulance Service arrived at their house to take over within 15 minutes.
Chelcie said: “I really want to say a massive thank you to the crew, they were amazing.
“Matt called at 11.17pm and they were with us by 11.30pm.
“It seemed like no time at all, they just took over and looked after me, Zahra and Matt so well.”
The crew rang the community midwife, who came out and as a precaution they were taken to hospital, where Zahra was observed for 24 hours.
Now safely back home they are settling into life as a family of three. Policeman Matt added: “As soon as I called the ambulance the lady on the phone was really, really helpful.
“Luckily she was still on the phone when Zahra was born, and after she cried and we knew she was OK we even had a bit of a laugh.“It was such a relief when the ambulance crew turned up, they knew just what to do.”
SECAmb call handler Georgina Crossan, paramedic Jack Gibbons and technician Kate Crabb who assisted the couple have wished them well, Jack adding: “Delighted to hear everyone’s doing well and we wish them all the very best for the future.”