East Runton dad delivers baby on bathroom floor

East Anglia Ambulance Service emergency medical dispatcher and call handler, Caroline Clarke, is reu

East Anglia Ambulance Service emergency medical dispatcher and call handler, Caroline Clarke, is reunited with the family she helped to deliver their baby. Caroline, centre, pictured with Edward and Sarah Storey with their 14 week old son Jack. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Throwing the baby out with the bath water is best avoided. As is, doctors would no doubt advise, delivering the baby on the bathroom floor.

But little Jack Storey's dad found himself with no alternative when his wife went into advanced labour at their home in East Runton, near Cromer.

Fortunately for Jack and his mum, dad Edward kept a cool head, a steady hand and managed a faultless delivery.

Mr Storey, 29, was helped every step of the way by Caroline Clarke, a call handler with the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, who talked him calmly through the birth over the phone.

Mrs Clarke went to meet baby Jack and the rest of his family at the weekend where Mr Storey thanked her for her help.

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'It all happened very quickly so I never got to thank her properly,' said Mr Storey, a carpenter, adding that it was a 'night to remember'.

The drama started on January 5 when Sarah Storey's waters broke. She and her husband went into the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital the next day where she was checked over and sent home, 'to wait for something to happen'.

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Later that night, after Mrs Storey had gone to bed, things did begin to happen - very quickly.

'By 11pm the contractions were coming thick and fast. Edward phoned the hospital and they said to bring me in,' said Mrs Storey, 30.

But, feeling it would take too long to drive the 27 mile journey to the hospital, Mr Storey rang back and was advised to call an ambulance.

While he waited for it to arrive, Mrs Clarke stayed on the line and told him how he could help, which included fetching towels to make sure his newborn baby did not have a bumpy landing.

'He dealt with the situation very well - he was brilliant,' said Mrs Clarke, 33, who has been a call handler for nearly five years and has her own two-year-old, who was a planned home birth.

'It's very hard to listen to instructions under those circumstances when your partner's in so much pain. Basically I told him to catch the baby, and not to pull too hard!

'The chord was round the baby's neck so I had to explain how to remove it with a finger.'

Jack arrived in the early hours of January 7, two-and-a-half weeks early and weighing 6lbs 7oz.

Mrs Storey said she only had 'blurry memories' of what was happening around her but remembered that her husband had appeared 'very calm.'

The couple's other two children, Grace, four, and Oliver, three, were spending the night at Mr Storey's parents' home nearby.

Once the unscheduled home birth became unavoidable, Mr Storey rang his mother, Denise, who rushed round to help and took over from him on the phone, relaying messages between her son and Mrs Clarke.

Two minutes after Jack's arrival, the ambulance crew arrived, to the relief of all involved.

Mrs Storey said Grace and Oliver had slept through all the excitement but Grace had recently asked, after the arrival of a friend's baby daughter: 'Was she born on the bathroom floor too?'

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