A MOTHER has praised police officers who escorted her to hospital while she was in labour.
Sophia Clay feared her baby was going to be born in the back seat of a car when her husband Adam got lost while trying to find Leicester General Hospital.
The couple, of Wheatley Avenue, Uppingham, were panicking when they happened to drive by two police officers in a layby. They stopped to ask for directions and the officers PC Sarah Hansell and PC Kelly Wilson agreed to escort them to hospital.
On the way, they met with PC Chico Vadhia and PC Dean Munsey and Sophia travelled in PC Vahia’s marked car with the blues and twos activated.
Adam followed behind in PC Munsey’s police car while the women officers drove the couple’s car.
The couple’s youngest daughter Arabella Mia was born just an hour after finally arriving at the hospital, weighing 9lb 12oz.
Sophia, 26, said: “I am so grateful to the police officers for all their help and it was really nice to be able to see them and say thank you in person.
“Had the officers not managed to get us to hospital straight away then I would have given birth in the layby.
“It was really scary but thankfully, it all worked out in the end, thanks to the police officers.”
The drama began when Sophia went into labour on Wednesday, May 2. She was taken to hospital in Melton but because they didn’t have the pain relief she needed, she was advised to go to Leicester General Hospital to give birth. Arabella was born on May 3, at 6.03am.
Sophia said: “The staff at Melton did offer us an ambulance but I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone and I thought we had ages.
“I am quite capable of reading a map but not in the throes of labour!”
Adam, 37, who works as a sales representative, said: “I know the way to the hospital from our home in Uppingham but I just got lost on the back roads.
“The sat nav wasn’t working and Sophia was screaming at me. If we hadn’t have driven by the police officers, I don’t know what we would have done.
“I can’t praise them enough - they were absolutely fantastic. One of the officers even ran into the hospital to get Sophia a wheelchair and wheeled her to the maternity unit.”
It is not the first dramatic birth for the couple, who are also parents to Harriet, 21 months, and Jemima, four.
Sophia also had to be transferred between Melton and Leicester when Harriet was born but in that instance, she was taken in an ambulance.
Sophia added: “It will certainly be a story to tell Arabella when she is older.”
PC Wilson, an officer based in Blaby, said: “It made me very happy to help someone in this situation.
“It was totally unexpected at the end of a long night shift and it was a refreshing change to deal with this sort of event.
“However, the event has made me very broody.”
And PC Hansell added: “I was just happy that I was able to help Mr and Mrs Clay. I became a police officer to try and help people and I was relieved when we made it to the hospital in time and that everyone arrived safe and well.”