DELIVERING a baby in sub-zero temperatures with a car park as a backdrop is not usually part of a birthing plan.
But that is exactly what happened to a Barnoldswick family when mum Ingrid Lomas (26) went into premature labour.
Tiny George Entwistle was so keen to make his entrance to the world, he was born four weeks early in the back of an ambulance parked in Boundary Mill Store’s car park in Colne.
With mum and baby doing well, Ingrid and her fiance James (27), both former West Craven High pupils, recounted their shock at George’s unexpected arrival.
Ingrid said: “I’d gone to bed with just a bit of tummy ache. George wasn’t due until March 9th so even when I was up at 4-30 a.m. with some pain, I thought it must just be Braxton Hicks contractions.
“But by 5 a.m. it was worse and I knew I would have to wake James up. When the hospital said to come in for monitoring, we tried to ring James’ mum Karen but she wouldn’t wake up. In the end, James had to run down to her house near the Fosters Arms through all the ice.
“It was worrying because I didn’t know what was going on. I was due for a scan next week because I had a low-lying placenta and they didn’t even know if he could come out naturally. By the time we set off in the car I knew we wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time so we called an ambulance.”
With Ingrid having already given birth to their first son Jack, now three, six weeks early, James said he fully expected he and Karen would have to play midwives before the ambulance arrived.
The proud dad, a butcher at Morrisons in Skipton, said: “Despite the early hour I was soon wide awake when I realised what was happening. We followed the ambulance but lost it as it rushed off. At Boundary Mill we could see an ambulance parked up in the entrance to Boundary Mill and knew it must be them.
“I thought there must be a problem with Ingrid’s breathing, or something had happened. When I went to the back of the ambulance, they opened the door and just said, ‘You’re a dad again’. I couldn’t believe he’d already been born. I was half laughing and half crying and gave them both a big kiss.
“I was expecting all the drama to be at the hospital because Ingrid was in a lot of pain. I would never have guessed they had stopped for the actual birth.”
Baby George had been born within 12 minutes of Ingrid’s waters breaking, with the paramedics saying it was the quickest labour they had seen.
When he finally made it to Burnley General Hospital, George was placed in the special care unit on a heated bed to bring his temperature back to normal. At a healthy 6lbs he was back in his mother’s arms within 24 hours.
Ingrid said: “Next time we will have to make sure the baby is due in summer or set up camp at the hospital six weeks before the due date. It just feels really good to be home, and to be able to come back fully dressed, rather than rushing out half naked.
“After all the drama, we want to say a big thank you to the ambulance crew for getting us through it. Everyone keeps joking we should get vouchers for Boundary Mill or a free meal at Banny’s.”