When Daniella Waring went into labour with her third child, at home in Catterick, North Yorkshire, this morning, she and her husband, Andrew, set off for hospital, with no idea how events would unfold.
Heading across the A66, the couple’s journey was hampered by heavy snow and poor driving conditions. Eventually, they had to pull over when Daniella realised her baby wasn’t going to wait for them to get to hospital.
Andrew explains, “The weather was very bad and I struggled to find somewhere to pull over and barely had time to ring 999 when the baby started coming. Having been present at the birth of our two other children I just copied what I had seen then. I opened the passenger door and knelt in the snow to deliver the baby.”
Great North Air Ambulance crew Lee Salmon and Philip O’Donnell were first on scene, quickly backed up by the North East Ambulance service crew, manned by paramedic mentor Dave Reynolds and student paramedics Claire Roberts and Iain Stewart.
Philip said, “The conditions were challenging to say the least and we initially had difficulty finding the family. But after driving up and down the road a couple of times we were able to locate them and inform the ambulance service as to their whereabouts.
“The baby had arrived shortly before we arrived so the hard work had been done, but we were able to check baby and mum over before the ambulance crew arrived and took her on to hospital. It was a lovely job to be involved in and we’d like to congratulate them on the new arrival.”
Claire, who is in her first year of studies, said, “I was concerned about them being on the side of the road in the freezing cold but was very excited as it was my first potential delivery.
“When we arrived, the GNAAS crew were already there keeping Sienna warm so it was a case of making sure they were ok, cutting the cord and getting them on board the vehicle and away to hospital as soon as possible.
“It was a really lovely experience and it’s great that mum and baby are doing well.”
Andrew added, “We were really pleased to see the ambulance and the care we received from the paramedics and hospital staff has been excellent, really reassuring after what happened.”
Mum and baby were taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital maternity unit, where Sienna Louisa Dottie Waring, who weighed in at 10lbs 1oz, and Daniella are being monitored.
Labour Ward sister, Anne Hodgson, said, “Daniella and Sienna had been in freezing temperatures so our priority was making sure they had skin to skin contact to warm Sienna up. She’s being cared for in a special cot which has a mattress filled with warm water so we can regulate her temperature. She has been regularly monitored throughout the day. We have no cause for concern and they’re both doing really well despite their experience.
“It’s not uncommon for babies, particularly when it isn’t a first baby, to come after a short labour, sometimes before the mum reaches us. We carefully assess and monitor all the new born babies in our care.”