Mother praises GNAAS medics after birth of baby girl

A mother has praised the medics from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) who helped her after the early arrival of her baby girl.

Naomi Clague, 37, from Portinscale, Keswick, was pregnant with her second child, and had planned in a C-section due to her baby being in the breech position, which means their feet were facing downwards rather than their head.

However, a few days before the planned arrival in the early hours of 9 April, Naomi began having contractions.

She said: “We had planned for a C-section on Wednesday 12 April but was told if I go into labour to ring the midwife and make sure to come as fast as I can to hospital.

“I felt mild squeezes on my belly but it didn’t feel like contractions, there was no pain, but then they came every ten minutes.

“I got into bed at 1am and at 1.40am my waters broke so I woke my husband Richard up and told him to get some towels and ring the midwife.”

Naomi thought she had plenty of time before the arrival of her little girl, after her son Max, who is now three years old, arrived 20 hours after her waters broke, but this was not the case.

She said: “The midwife asked Richard how it was going and when he looked the cord was coming first. An alarm bell went off and the midwife said hang up and ring an ambulance and then ring us back.”

After calling 999, paramedics from the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and a paramedic and doctor team from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) quickly responded to the scene, but upon their arrival baby Maisie had just been born. She was delivered by Richard, with guidance from the 999 operator.

Naomi said: “It only took 34 minutes, she was born at 2.14am so it was pretty rapid, but considering she was the wrong way round, everything turned out okay.”

Due to the time of day, the team from GNAAS, including paramedic Terry Sharpe and Dr Lyle Moncur, responded on a rapid response vehicle rather than a helicopter, as they do not fly at night.

The charity initially launched their night-time service in Cumbria in May 2021 covering Friday and Saturday nights, from 8pm to 8am, but have since expanded to cover Thursday and Sunday nights, with the hopes of eventually providing a 24/7 service.

The team from GNAAS worked alongside the team from NWAS to check over Naomi and Maisie including cutting the cord and safely delivering the placenta.

Naomi  said: “When Lyle and Terry turned up, they seemed to exude a certain confidence and knowledge and they were absolutely great. Terry was looking after Maisie and Lyle seemed to know everything that a midwife would have done in this situation and was able to talk through how to cut the cord and get the placenta out, which was performed by the team from NWAS.”

Following the birth of Maisie, Naomi was taken to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle for further treatment including undergoing surgery for a hematoma that developed shortly afterwards.

Dr Moncur said: “We train for obstetric emergencies however being asked to attend one in the middle of the night always gets the heart rate going. I was absolutely delighted to arrive and be told the baby girl had arrived safely and that Mum was well. We checked both over and supported getting them to the hospital for ongoing care.”

Naomi added: “Maisie is absolutely cracking, she’s very healthy and doing well.”

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