An amazing Foulridge dad has been hailed a hero after delivering his own son in their car.
Chris Whitehead and his wife Stacey were hastily heading to Airedale General Hospital when baby Theo Alexander decided to make an abrupt appearance in Laneshaw Bridge.
The couple – who also have a daughter, Tabitha (2) – set off from their home at 10pm on Thursday, but then welcomed their newborn son into the world at 10-09pm after pulling over on Keighley Road.
Stacey (29), a former highly capable Leader Times Newspapers reporter, said: “I’d tried to stay at home for as long as possible as I was in labour for quite a long time when I had my daughter.
“People had been telling me that your second labour is often much shorter, but I didn’t think it would be that quick!
“It was only when I was putting my daughter to bed that night at 7-30pm that I realised something was definitely happening.”
The pair revealed that according to Chris’s phone records, they know they reached the Steeton hospital within 23 minutes of them leaving their Sycamore Gardens home – a journey which would normally take this time without stopping to have a baby!
Chris (33), a telecoms engineer, said: “I can see from my phone that I rang the labour ward at 10-02pm to warn them we were on our way as we drove along Skipton Road in Foulridge.
“Luckily, the midwife stayed on the phone to us and when it became clear we weren’t going to make it to the hospital, she asked me to pull over in Laneshaw Bridge.
Her next words were ‘I’m going to need you to deliver this baby’. Apparently I just said ‘You’re joking?’”
The couple then stayed on the phone to the midwife until they reached the hospital at 10-23pm, passing the ambulance as it was heading their way.
Stacey said: “I still can’t quite believe that I had my baby in the car. It’s very surreal!
“It was a big shock at the time, but now it’s happened we wouldn’t have it any other way. There are not many dads who can say they delivered their own son.”
Chris added: “It’s not often the dads get much recognition after a baby’s been born, so it’s quite nice to feel a part of it, although I’m not sure Stacey’s happy that I’m stealing all the limelight!”
Theo is now just a week old and is looking lovely, eating and sleeping well and being highly loved.