A mother has given birth in the back of an ambulance parked outside the accident and emergency department at West Suffolk Hospital.
Lauren Castle, 23, from Thurston, was rushed by ambulance to the hospital’s birthing unit after her waters broke at around 10.30am on Monday morning. They sped up the A14 led by the couple’s midwife, with dad Steven Brown, 31, following close behind.
But as soon as the ambulance pulled up to A&E and paramedics went to open the back doors, they realised Lauren wasn’t going to make it inside.
Meanwhile, Steven had got caught up in traffic in the hospital’s car park and was unaware Lauren was still in the vehicle.
He rushed past the ambulance, waving to the driver, and ran upstairs only to be told someone was giving birth outside – and he knew it must be Lauren.
After sprinting back to A&E he knocked on the ambulance window yelling for them to let him in.
Luckily Steve made it just in time and got to see the birth of his new son Leo.
“It was a close one, at one point I thought I was going to give birth travelling up the A14,” said Lauren.
“We had two midwives, two paramedics and Steve all in the back of the cramped ambulance during the birth. “It was quite a squeeze.
“I was silent through most of it and didn’t say a thing.
“I just kept worrying whether I would have him without Steven being there.”
Steven said: “I walked past the ambulance because I thought she would be in the birthing unit.
“ I even waved at the driver.
“ I have then gone running up to the unit but they said someone was giving birth outside. I ran back down and knocked on the ambulance window and shouted ‘I’m the father’.
After the birth, the midwife wrapped little Leo in a warm blanket and the couple wandered into the hospital. They were back home by 3pm.
Lauren said she had read about people giving birth on the way to the hospital but never thought it would happen to her.
She said: “I used to say I would be horrified if that ever happened to me.
“But afterwards we just laughed about it saying when he’s older we’ll have a very funny story to tell him.”