A proud grandmother stepped into the role of makeshift midwife to deliver her son Jack’s first child – at home on Christmas Day.
Angela Robinson, 48, sprang into action at her Togston house last Friday morning after Jack Brown’s fiancée Asia Sikora went into labour on the toilet floor.
Sales advisor Angela kept calm and ‘let her instincts take over’ to help with the birth and shortly after little Lilly Cheryll Brown arrived, weighing 5lb 9oz.
Delighted Jack and Asia, both 22 and from Amble, say their beautiful daughter is the best Christmas present they could have.
And their baby’s middle name has been chosen in memory of Jack’s much-loved great aunt Cheryll Roberts, from Manchester, who lost her cancer battle earlier this year.
Reflecting on a truly unforgettable Christmas Day, Angela said: “The baby’s head was popping out. I went white at the time, but it was a case of either passing out or being supergran. So my instincts kicked in, I got on my knees, and with a bit of pushing and pulling, Lilly was born.
“The labour took about 10 minutes and Asia did brilliantly – especially as she had no pain relief.
“Lilly is my first grandchild and delivering her was brilliant. If I wasn’t so old, I would train to be a midwife.”
Asia, also mother to two-year-old son Kamil, said it was comforting to have Angela deliver Lilly – who was born two weeks early – and admitted it was amazing to give birth to a Christmas Day baby.
Jack added: “I was quite panicky, but you would think my mum had done it before. Lilly is the best Christmas present – we won’t be able to top this one.”
Asia’s waters broke at 5am on Christmas Day. She went to hospital but was told that she wasn’t in established labour so went to Angela’s house for festive celebrations as planned – unaware of the drama, and happiness, that was to follow.
Married mother-of-three Angela said: “Asia was in a lot of pain when she came back from the hospital, so she had a bath and Jack went to help her.
“When she came down afterwards she was still in agony. She thought she needed the toilet. Next thing, she’s on the floor and the baby is on its way on the toilet floor. It was lucky I had bleached it the day before!
“We phoned for an ambulance and they were talking us through it all. Jack was flapping a bit and then he said ‘oh my God, I can see the head’.
“I passed him the phone and delivered the baby. I made sure Asia was comfortable and put a pillow under her head and when the baby came out, I made sure her airways were clear and wrapped her up in a towel to keep her warm. Then the ambulance arrived.”
Not only did Angela step into the role of midwife, she also took on the task of cooking Christmas dinner. And despite what happened, she managed to have lunch on the table by 12.30pm!
Jack, Asia and Lilly went to hospital, but came home later that night to reflect on a remarkable Christmas Day.
And for Jack, who works offshore on tugboats, the experience of becoming a father for the first time is truly overwhelming. He said: “It is crazy. I did my best to prepare myself for the birth of my child and I thought I had it off to a tee, but when you see a child come out, there is not a feeling like it. Words can’t describe it. It is just pure love.”
Christmas Day is proving to be a special one for the couple – last year they got engaged.
Lilly’s great grandmother Rita Pringle, from Longhoughton, tried to see her on Boxing Day, but Warkworth was cut off due to flooding caused by Storm Eva, so she had to delay the visit.