“The paramedics arrived to take me to the hospital but as soon as they sat me up I just said: ‘I need to push.’”
This was the moment Gemma Smith from New Mill realised her third child would be a home birth.
Gemma and her husband Dwyane had considered the idea of a home birth early on in the pregnancy but had been advised against it due to complications in Gemma’s two previous pregnancies.
Both seven-year-old Chloe and five-year-old Charlie were born two weeks late and labour had to be induced so doctors wanted to keep a close eye on this one ... but baby Ellie never made it out of the house to hospital.
Gemma said: “At around eight o’clock on Sunday night I started getting contractions. It got to two or three in the morning and the pain was getting worse so I rang Huddersfield Birth Centre and told them my contractions were coming two to three minutes apart and were lasting 50 seconds.
“The midwife told me to take some paracetamol and run a hot bath. She said if I came in for a check they would most likely send me home again because the contractions weren’t frequent enough.
“I didn’t want to wake up the kids and waste a journey so I did what she said but the pain just got worse. I was biting on my dressing gown tie it was that bad.”
Eventually Gemma decided she could not stand it any longer. At around 6am Dwyane called Huddersfield Birth Centre again and this time they agreed it was time to come in.
As planned, Gemma called her sister to take her to the hospital but she was unavailable.
By this point the contractions were coming faster and faster and the pain was quickly becoming unbearable.
“All I could think was ‘I need gas and air’,” said Gemma. “I’d been 12 hours in labour with nothing to take the pain off so we rang for an ambulance”
Within five minutes a Community First Responder arrived with gas and air to ease Gemma’s suffering. The ambulance to take her to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary was on its way, 20 minutes behind.
“None of us thought the baby was about to come,” said Dwyane. “The first responder was downstairs making some calls while the paramedics got her to the ambulance. But then as soon as they sat her up in bed she says: ‘I need to push.’
“I had absolutely no idea what to do.”
The first responder was shouted upstairs and went into the bedroom to be met with a crowning head and Dwyane telling him: “Baby’s coming.”
The first responder got in to position to deliver and on just the second push, Gemma gave birth to a little Ellie Smith, who weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces.
Dwyane cut the cord at 7.38am on Monday.
Dwyane said: “She’s just perfect and Gemma’s one tough cookie. I could never have done what she did - all night in labour with no pain relief.
“The ambulance crew and first responder were absolutely amazing as well.
“This whole thing could have gone from bad to worse if it wasn’t for them and that’s why we’re so grateful.”