IT’S every expectant parent’s nightmare – getting stuck in traffic on the way to give birth.
That horrendous scenario became a reality yesterday for a Linthwaite couple as their baby boy was born in their car.
Andrew Littlewood, 33 and his girlfriend Aimee Wadsworth, 25, found themselves stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the birthing centre at Halifax first thing yesterday.
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Despite Andrew’s valiant attempts to force his way through the gridlock on Elland Bypass, his partner could not hold on.
Baby Niall was born on the passenger seat of dad’s VW Golf amid a scene of traffic chaos caused by an earlier lorry smash.
Andrew said he feared his first child was going to die.
“When we first hit the traffic everyone was all right and we were nice and calm,” he said. “The next thing I know Aimee’s screaming that the baby’s coming out.
“I thought ‘I’m not going to get through here’, so I rang the hospital to ask for an ambulance.
“They told me to ring 999, but while I was on the call my girlfriend said she could see the head and the baby was about to come.
“I ended the call and decided I needed to take the bull by the horns and get to the hospital.
“I put my hazard lights on and had my horn on full blast, trying to get through.
“Some people moved over and some didn’t.”
Unfortunately for Andrew, he could not push through and baby Niall was born into the footwell of the car.
“I thought he was going to lose his life,” said Andrew.
“He wasn’t crying when he came out, but luckily Aimee managed to stimulate him and brought him to life.
“Then in all the commotion a midwife who was on her way to Calderdale hospital and also stuck in the traffic, saw us and came over.
“An ambulance then came and all three of us went in convoy to the hospital.” Mum and baby, born at about 7am weighing 6lb 4oz, are both doing fine.
Dad meanwhile, may still be in shock.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he added.
“You had to be there to believe it!”
The birth on the A629 Calderdale Way is the second in just six months.
Last July Oakes couple Katy Hall and Jason Haigh were forced to give birth to their son Robin in a lay-by on the road.
The lorry crash caused misery for thousands of commuters.
The incident was reported to police just before 6am and took place close to The Barge and Barrel pub.
Motorists for miles around were forced to crawl along at a snail’s pace as police blocked off access routes to Calderdale Way and firefighters checked the lorry’s cargo which included animal feed and PVA glue.
The road heading down towards Halifax from Ainley Top to Elland Bridge was shut for nearly five hours before reopening at 10.45am.
Martin Willoughby, a director of Keighley-based Nelson Transport Ltd said: “The driver came down the hill, hit a patch of ice and slid over the road and hit the kerb. If it had not been icy it would not have happened.”
Joanne Mallinson, 21, of Bailiff Bridge, said: “I heard about the accident on the radio. I set off about 7.45am and I got into work in Elland at 9.40am. It normally only takes me 15 to 20 minutes, max.”
Shop assistant Carol Mallinson from Elland said the accident meant a 15-minute journey for her husband Frank to Odsal Top, Bradford, had taken him more than an hour.
She said: “He set off at 7.20am and I got a text at 8.28am from him to say he had finally arrived.”
Calderdale councillor Patricia Allen, (Lib Dem Elland), said: “That’s not good news is it? After all the chaos with the snow that’s all we needed. Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do about these accidents.”
And Clr Colin Stout, (Ind, Brighouse), added: “That is the second accident on the bypass in six months when another wagon lost its load. Traffic chaos between Elland and Brighouse, eh?”