Supergran steps in to help deliver baby

The Christie family with new baby, Barnaby. Barnaby was born at home unexpectedly and delivered by his grandmother, Marilyn. Barnaby pictured with parents Darren and Gemma and grandmother Marilyn
The Christie family with new baby, Barnaby. Barnaby was born at home unexpectedly and delivered by his grandmother, Marilyn. Barnaby pictured with parents Darren and Gemma and grandmother Marilyn
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A grandmother kept cool and calm when she had to help deliver her grandson.

Marilyn Christie says she didn’t have time to stop to think when her daughter-in-law screamed out for help.

She rushed to her side and within minutes baby Barnaby was born.

Marilyn, 57, a receptionist at the Sheep Market Surgery in Stamford, then wrapped him in a towel and gently held him until paramedics arrived.

“There was no time to panic, you just think this is what I’ve got to do,” she said.

“I think a kind of ‘mother hen’ instinct just takes over.

“It wasn’t until the following night when I really took stock of it. I woke up in a blind panic thinking just how differently things might have turned out.

“But it is lovely now to think I actually helped deliver my grandson.”

The drama began at about 7.30am on Thursday last week when Marilyn’s daughter-in-law Gemma, 27, woke up with mild contractions which were about 10 minutes apart.

Her husband Darren, 31, telephoned the hospital, which advised the couple to wait at their home in St John’s Close, Ryhall, until the contractions were five minutes apart.

At about 7.45am, Darren rang his parents Marilyn and Steve, of Cedar Road, Stamford, so they could look after the couple’s daughter Matilda, two. Marilyn said: “I jumped in the shower when they first rang because I didn’t think it would be so quick. Gemma was in labour with Matilda for 26 hours!

“Then we got another phone call so I blasted my hair with the hairdryer and set off but I got stuck behind a lorry!”

When Marilyn arrived at about 8.40am she was talking to Darren, 31, when they heard Gemma scream upstairs in the bathroom.

The couple helped Gemma into the bedroom to get her more comfortable.

Marilyn said: “You could see the baby’s head so I knew everything was going to happen very quickly.

“I supported the baby’s head and he just sort of slithered out.

“Darren was on the phone to the 999 operator who asked whether the baby was breathing and I could see he was.

“It did worry me for a moment that he wasn’t crying but when I wrapped him in a towel he started spluttering and coughing and I knew he was alright.

“I then held my grandson while we waited for the paramedics and Darren asked me if I wanted to know the baby’s name, and he told me, which was a really lovely moment.

“Poor Gem had had no painkillers at all but managed to stay really calm.

“The paramedics then arrived and checked everything was OK. The midwife then came and cut the cord and gave Barnaby to his mum.”

Barnaby was born at 8.54am and weigh 8lb 12oz. He had been due the previous day.

Marilyn said: “It was absolutely wonderful to be a part of it all. I have a wonderful bond now with Barnaby.

“All my friends at the surgery are now joking that if anyone turns up about to give birth, I’ll be there to assist!”

Gemma and Barnaby were taken to Peterborough City Hospital and were kept in until Saturday as a precaution because Gemma had the infection group B streptococcus, which can be passed onto the baby.

Antibiotics need to be given to the baby immediately after the birth to prevent this but thankfully Barnaby wasn’t affected.

Gemma told the Mercury: “I’m so grateful Mum got stuck behind that lorry otherwise we might have been on our way to hospital and he could have been born in the car. She was very calm and collected.

““It was quite nice to have a couple of days in hospital to recover and get over the shock of it.

“He’s quite a content baby and Matilda really loves him.”

Darren, an estate agent at Fine and Country in St Mary’s Street, Stamford, said the family had had a very sober Christmas in case the baby came early but never imagined it would be such a quick birth.

Marilyn’s husband Steve, 58, a management consultant, arrived a few minutes before the paramedics to look after Matilda, who had been happily watching Peppa Pig on TV, unaware of the drama upstairs.