A calm 999 operator has been praised after giving a pregnant woman’s partner a crash course in midwifery as he helped her deliver on their living room floor.
Thirty-seven-year-old Paula Larwood went into labour on Thursday night, with contractions becoming more frequent on Good Friday.
“By 5pm, we’d called Yeovil District Hospital to tell them we were on our way down,” said her partner, Stephen Painter, 37. “But before we could even get in the car, things had started to happen.”
Mr Painter, who lives with Paula in Keinton Mandeville, called 999, while his mother, Lorraine, who had come to pick up the couple’s four-year-old daughter, Madeline, did what she could to help ensure a smooth delivery.
“I didn’t know what I was doing,” said Mr Painter. “I was really panicked, but the guy on the other end of the phone was brilliant.
“The operator I spoke to was unbelievable. He was so calm and I am so grateful to him.
“He explained what to do and how to make sure that everything went as it should, but there were also the little things like how to keep Paula comfortable during birth that made all the difference.”
Within 15 minutes, little Freddie had entered the world, weighing 5lb, 6oz.
“It was just all so quick,” Mr Painter said. “All of a sudden he was just there, on our living room floor.”
An ambulance turned up a few minutes later and both mother and baby were declared fit and well before being taken to hospital. By Tuesday the whole family was back together again at their home.
“It’s all a little bit busy, but we’re all getting to know each other,” said Mr Painter.