Mum gives birth on petrol station forecourt by torchlight
A mum gave birth on a petrol station forecourt after a rush to get to hospital. Stephanie Richardson, was due to be induced just four hours later – but went into labour in the middle of the night. Baby Lucy made a dramatic appearance by torchlight in the back of a pick-up truck in the early hours of Friday morning at the Jet petrol station in County Durham.
And fortunately for Stephanie and partner Matthew Varley, their friend and midwife was on hand to ensure their third child arrived safely weighing a healthy 6lb 15oz, the Chronicle reports. Stephanie, 29, said: “I’m doing alright now after the drama of it all. It’s just crazy how something like that can happen at the side of the road.
“I woke up in the middle of the night with pain and I knew it was time. “I phoned the midwife who was booked in to deliver my baby at 8am in the morning, and I said you need to come over the baby’s here. “We were going to the hospital with my partner driving, the midwife in the front and me on all fours in the back of our pick-up.
There’s no gas and air in the back of a truck! “We got from Medomsley to St Bede’s School and had to stop at the petrol station. It actually closes so it was pitch black.
The midwife said to ring 999 but within seconds the baby was on the forecourt of the garage.” Stephanie’s 14-month-old son Jake was born during lockdown, but spent time in intensive care and almost died, meaning both Stephanie and Matthew were worried about any potential complications. But thankfully, the midwife was able to deliver Lucy safely by torchlight, and the new arrival was taken to hospital.
Stephanie paid tribute to both her midwife and Matthew for their part in bringing Lucy into the world. She continued: “I’m just very lucky to have a friend who has a very experienced midwife. She is renowned in the area, she’s delivered everybody’s baby!
“I think we would have been a lot more scared – she was very calm. She’s delivered babies in the hospital car park before, but never in a petrol station! “I’m just so lucky she was there.
It was only about 40 minutes from start to finish – my other labours were about eight hours. It was a big shock. “Matthew, you could see he was worried but he was just cool and calm.
I couldn’t have got through it without him, he’s just amazing. “Anything could’ve happened. Looking back I should have stayed at home, but it was half three in the morning and she was born just after 4.30.
She quite literally shot into the world.”
Stephanie Richardson with partner Matthew Varley, baby Lucy and their other children Alice (5) and Jake (1) (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
Lucy is now at home with her brother Jake and five-year-old sister Alice.
Stephanie added: “I think after that, I think three is enough – three is a nice number, you can fit three kids in a car!”
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