A stunned father described how his partner gave birth on the floor of his car as he was speeding 70 mph in a fast street.
Lee Reynolds, 34, thought she had “enough time” when Natalie Whitten, 31, went into labor with her second child on Wednesday, July 27.
But when the pair were banging on the M65 highway, near Burnley, in the north of England, he was shocked to see their new baby, Harrison, “shot out” into the footwell of his Ford Fiesta station wagon.
Reynolds, who was on the phone with a babysitter throughout the trip, said he remembered thinking, “Oh, sh*t! We’re not going to make it,” moments ago.
And after the sudden arrival of his seven-pound, 11-ounce baby boy, he turned down the breakdown lane to wait for the ambulance crew.
But as there was no sign of a drug within minutes, the concerned father decided to make a dash for the nearest hospital, where Natalie received immediate help.
Transport manager Reynolds said: “We were in the lane going 70 mph, and I just looked at the floor and went ‘There’s a kid in the footwell!
“She quickly picked up the baby, and then the midwife on the phone was telling us what to do.
“We needed to make sure the baby was breathing, and once he was sure the baby was breathing, he said go ahead.”
Whitton continued: “Lee kept asking me if I wanted to move on. I felt a slight urge to push, but I said: ‘Keep going!’
“Then all of a sudden, the kid came out, and he went into the footwell of the car on the floor.
“I remember feeling relieved that this pressure was gone. I had a water birth before, and it helped a lot, but this time I had nothing.”
Reynolds, who lives with kitchen worker Whitten in Darwin, UK, said her partner began experiencing contractions around 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday 27 July.
But the couple did not go to Burnley Hospital, as they had previously been turned away for arriving too early before the birth of their first daughter, Sienna, who is now four years old.
He said: “Natalie called Burnley Hospital around 3:30 a.m. to speak to a midwife, but when she woke up, her water was gone.
“She had this pain, but she said ‘I’ll stay for a while’, just thinking there’s no point in going to Burnley, just walking away again.”
Reynolds said he spent the next few hours organizing childcare for his daughter, before leaving at 5:30 a.m. for the 30-minute journey in his car.
But as they proceeded along the highway, they began calling nearby berthing units and emergency services, worried they had left things too late.
He said: “When we were on the motorway, Natalie said, “It’s coming, I’m not going to make it,” and that’s when I thought, “Oh, sh*t! We’re not going to make it.”
“I ended up dialing Blackburn Birth Centre, which is closer to Burnley than us.
“But when we called the babysitter and said, “Can we come to you,” she said, “no, we’re full,” so we just moved on.
Reynolds later received a call back from the midwife to check on her progress, when suddenly, her partner gave birth to their young child.
He said: “I was talking to the midwife on the phone, and then the kid shot, literally shot, into the footwell.
“I just turned around and said: ‘There’s a kid in the footwell! There’s a kid in the footwell!’ I was right in panic.
“So the midwife told me, “Pull on the hard shoulder and ring 999 (UK emergency services).” So that’s when I pulled over.
Reynolds helped her partner perform some basic health checks on her new baby — who was born at 5:57 a.m. — under the guidance of 999 emergency call handlers.
But after waiting some time for an ambulance, Reynolds decided to take matters into his own hands and go to Burnley Hospital with his partner and their newborn child.
He said: “I could actually see the sign at Junction 12 of the M65 for Burnley Hospital – and that’s the junction I needed. I was ten minutes away.
“So I ended up talking to the midwife, ‘Am I just leaving? What do you recommend?” And he said, “If you think you’ll be fine, and you’ll be quick, just go for it.”
“We went straight to the hospital, to the emergency out-of-hours unit, and two midwives and a health assistant came running to help Natalie.”
Reynolds said her partner spent about six hours with doctors before the pair returned home the same day with their healthy new baby.
produced in collaboration with SWNS,
This story was provided to Newsweek zenger news,