Midwife delivers her own baby (with a little help from a make-up mirror) First-time mother gives birth in her bathroom after going into labour three weeks early”Afterwards it was just like I was at work, with the clearing away”, she said
Early addition: Claire Clarke-Wood with husband Tim and baby Esmay, who arrived in time for Christmas
As an experienced midwife, Claire Clarke-Wood has delivered thousands of babies.
But the 28-year-old never expected that she would be delivering her own.
Just hours after leaving work at Croydon University Hospital, Mrs Clarke-Wood found herself going into labour three weeks early.
With no choice but to go it alone, the proud mother delivered her first child Esmay – with a little help from a make-up mirror.
“My colleagues had joked that I would end up delivering my own baby but I never thought it would actually happen,” Mrs Clarke-Wood, who lives in Hawkhurst, Kent, admitted.
Mrs Clarke-Wood left work at 10pm on Saturday December 10 but she endured a restless night”s sleep.
At around 5am, she woke husband Tim as she began to have contractions.
She said: “I had a bit of backache but put that down to the long shift. At about 5am I began to realise I was having contractions but as it was my first time I knew it would probably take a long time.
“I told Tim I was probably looking at giving birth maybe on Tuesday so I’d wait and see.
“I ran myself a bath and suddenly the contractions came on fast.
“I was laughing because it was so unexpected. The contractions just kept coming and coming.”
Applying a TENS machine, which helps control contractions, Mrs Clarke-Wood found herself crouched in her bathroom using her mum’s make-up mirror to guide her.
Paramedics were called but Esmay Clarke-Wood was born before they arrived, just after 7.30am on December 11, weighing 6lbs 12oz.
Mrs Clarke-Wood said: “For it to be that fast is pretty much unheard of. She was due on January 4 so a bit over three weeks early, but she’s doing fine.
“Afterwards it was just like I was at work, I was clearing away the towels and putting on a cup of tea – Tim was just trying to get me to settle down.”
Mrs Clarke-Wood joined the midwifery team at Croydon in 2008 working on the case loading team offering support throughout pregnancy, and carrying out numerous home births.
The family is due to emigrate to Western Australia in the New Year.