A mother-to- be who had been hoping for a water birth was stunned when her baby daughter arrived unexpectedly – on the toilet.
Pregnant Beccy McDowell, 32, from Wirral, Merseyside revealed how she gave birth in the lavatory, just minutes after midwives had assured her the birth was hours away.
Beccy says she was so shocked that, despite fumbling to catch newborn Aoife in her hands, she dropped her into the toilet bowl – only to fish her out again moments later.
Beccy said: ‘I sat on the loo and after discovering a head, I delivered my own daughter – the sheer shock caused me to fling her into the toilet!
‘The staff, my mother and husband were all gobsmacked at what they found when I shouted for them to come into the toilet – and my husband managed to capture a picture of a thousand expressions.
‘It was the biggest shock and joy I have ever experienced.’
Beccy and husband Pete, 35, met as children and got together when Beccy was 16 years old. They married in July 2008 and their first daughter, Fionnula, was born five years later.
Beccy fell pregnant with a second daughter, Aoife, last year.
She went into labour on July 2 and Pete drove her to Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral.Pete, pictured with his daughter, was on hand to capture his wife’s stunned expression on camera
Beccy said: ‘The labour with my first daughter was long and tricky so I was expecting the same with Aoife.
‘I went to hospital and the midwives examined me and said I was only 2cm dilated and so the birth was hours away. My waters hadn’t even broken.
‘I wanted a water birth but they said it was much too early to fill the pool.
‘I decided to nip to the loo. I got inside the cubicle but as I sat down I felt the head between my legs.
‘I was shouting for Pete, and he went off to get a midwife.
‘But by the time they returned, the baby was there. I tried to catch her, but I was so shocked, I dropped her into the toilet!
‘I fished her out straightaway, I couldn’t think straight, I was in such a state.’
Baby Aoife suffered no ill-effects from her unusual delivery and weighed a healthy 6lbs 2ozs.
Beccy said: ‘I was absolutely stunned. Poor Pete was white, standing in the ladies’ loos, and he just said: “Well, let’s get together for a photo!”
‘I can’t thank the hospital staff enough. The midwives were wonderful.’
Mum and baby are now both home and doing well.
Debbie Edwards, who is the head of midwifery at the hospital said: ‘This certainly isn’t our first unusual time or place for a baby to choose to arrive.
‘We recently had one arrive in the hospital car park so we’re geared up to ‘expect the unexpected’ and respond accordingly. As soon as Aoife made an appearance our staff swung into action and were able to ensure mum and baby were safe and well.
‘We’re delighted that mum felt she and her baby were so well looked after and all of the team who cared for them send their best wishes.’