For many, a bunch of roses or a box of chocolates would be the expected delivery on Valentine’s Day.
But for one Colne family, the most romantic day of the year was made even more special with a surprise home birth.
Zena Fitzpatrick (39) was forced to transform from grandma-to-be to midwife when she realised her daughter Chantelle (19) had entered the final stage of labour at their Slater Avenue home.
Having rung 999, she was able to follow instructions from the operator and deliver her own grand-daughter Lily-Jean in Chantelle’s bedroom at 1-28pm.
Neighbour Colette Dunleavy was also called in to help, and upon the arrival of the ambulance, she was asked to cut the cord. Lily-Jean, who was 11 days overdue, weighed a healthy 7lb. 1oz. and both her and mum are doing well.
Proud grandma Zena said: “I haven’t had a present like that for Valentine’s Day before, but she is worth every minute.
“At around 9am Chantelle had bad stomach pains. I took her to hospital and they examined her and she was only 3cm dilated, so they sent her home.
“The midwife told me the contractions needed to be longer than a minute, and later they were only lasting 30 to 40 seconds, so I thought they weren’t strong enough.
“She was saying ‘mum I need to push’ and I thought she was having me on, but when I looked I could see the crown of the baby’s head. I rang 999 and was trying to listen to Chantelle at the same time.
“The lady on the phone told me what to do and literally after two pushes she was here. She’s a gorgeous little thing.”
Neighbour and mum-of-one Colette (35) added: “It was such a privilege to cut the cord. I have known the Fitzpatrick family since I was at school, and I have watched Chantelle grow up. I get tearful just thinking about it - what a Valentine’s Day for everyone.”