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Man ties wife’s umbilical cord with dressing gown tie in unexpected birth

PUBLISHED: 09:25 10 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:39 10 July 2018

Edward and Victoria Johnson with baby Edith at her place of birth outside Starston. PHOTO: Edward Johnson

Edward and Victoria Johnson with baby Edith at her place of birth outside Starston. PHOTO: Edward Johnson

Archant

A husband with no knowledge of the birthing process was forced to act as midwife as his spouse gave birth in their car.

Victoria Johnson with baby and her big sister at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. PHOTO: Edward JohnsonVictoria Johnson with baby and her big sister at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. PHOTO: Edward Johnson

Edward Johnson ensured his wife Victoria gave birth to their second child safely when she went into labour sooner than planned on their drive to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) on June 26.

Mr Johnson, 31, had an emergency services operator on speakerphone while waiting for an ambulance to arrive at a field outside of Starston.

In one remarkable instance, Mr Johnson was forced to tie his wife’s umbilical cord with a dressing gown tie from the boot of the car.

The couple, from Withersvale Street, a village near Harleston, had only travelled 10 minutes on their way to hospital when it became obvious they were not going to make it.

The Johnson family car at baby Edith's place of birth outside Starston. PHOTO: Edward JohnsonThe Johnson family car at baby Edith's place of birth outside Starston. PHOTO: Edward Johnson

Mr Johnson, a business development director for a software company, said: “After two minutes of utter panic we both realised we were going to be doing this alone.

“I tried to call 999 on hands-free, only to realise I had no reception.

“Thankfully after fumbling around for my wife’s phone she had reception and we promptly requested an ambulance.

“They did not make it in time, so I had to step in as midwife and play catch for my little one.

“It was my wife’s utter calmness throughout the process that made it possible for me.”

A florist at Fig and Roses in Harleston, Mrs Johnson was in labour for two hours and 45 minutes, but it only took 10 minutes from her waters breaking for the baby, named Edith Lily, to be born.

Mr Johnson said: “We always said it’s our worst nightmare to get caught like that - we thought we left in plenty of time.

“I think it was going over the hump-back bridge that finally did it.”

Mrs Johnson, 28, who was two days overdue on the day of birth, was taken to the NNUH for medical treatment and allowed out after 24 hours.

Mr Johnson said: “I think as a father the moment that I had to catch the baby as she was coming out was the most memorable, but also looking at the amount of space my wife had in the front seat of the car, because the seats didn’t fold down.

“Both of us think it’s lovely it happened that way, and Edith’s settled in really well.”

Baby Edith’s second name, Lily, is after Mr Johnson’s grandmother.

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