Mystery mum has baby boy in Norfolk living room

Katie McAfee, who delivered the baby. Picture by David Bale.

Katie McAfee, who delivered the baby. Picture by David Bale. - Credit: Archant

A mother delivered a stranger's baby in her living room when a hysterical couple turned up on her doorstep after getting lost on their way to hospital.

Katie McAfee said one minute she was sitting at home watching Miss Marple on TV, and the next she was delivering a the baby on her living room floor.

The 42-year-old mother of two, from Honingham, a village west of Norwich off the A47, had been settling down at about 8.30pm on Saturday, with her two children tucked up in bed, when she heard a knock on the door, .

She said: 'A car had pulled into our drive. A man got out and he was shouting and screaming that his wife was about to give birth.

'He said they had got lost on their way to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital from a travellers' camp near Dereham. He said their satnav was not working.'

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Mrs McAfee immediately sprang into action and invited the couple inside.

In the meantime, her husband had just arrived home, and she asked him to call emergency services on 999.

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She added: 'The father, who was about 40, was stressed out and was making his wife worse. It was her fifth child, and she was about 30, so they should have known what to expect. Andy called 999 and passed the phone to me, so they could tell me what to do.'

Her husband, who is gamekeeper for the Easton Estates, got some clean towels which they put on a rug on the living room floor. By this time the ambulance service had arrived.

Mrs McAfee added: 'I was trying to calm her down, saying that 'she was a mummy and I was a mummy, and that we'd done this before'. She was lying on the rug and I asked her husband to help me undress her.

'She had her contractions and her waters had burst. By this stage her husband was besides himself, so I frogmarched him outside and gave him a hug to tell him everything was OK.

'The ambulance service gave her gas and air. She was clearly ready to give birth, but I could not see the head of the baby. And then it came out and we caught it. I delivered the baby with one of the ambulance guys. It was a very quick birth.

'The mother had been reluctant to come into the house from the start, as she must have been embarrassed, but at the end she was lovely to me.

'It was a beautiful baby boy. I rubbed him down to get him breathing. The parents said that he was 14 days late.

'They said they had been to the hospital earlier that day, and the midwives had given her a sweep, to induce the baby, and then sent her home, which was normal practice.

'But obviously she had gone into labour so they had to go back to hospital from the travellers' camp. I said congratulations to the dad and the ambulance service took them to the hospital.'

Less than 48 hours after delivering the baby, she said she still could not explain what had happened.

She said: 'It must be a one in a million chance to witness something like this. The chances of this happening. I cannot describe it. It was surreal on every level.

'How did they did they end up at our house? They must have driven past four other houses in the road before they got to us. How did they get off the A47 and get lost in the first place? I know sometimes satnavs can send motorists the wrong way into Honingham, but it's all so strange. You don't expect it to happen.'

Upon further reflection, she added: 'I'm not one to shy away from anything. I did what I felt was natural to deliver her baby. They took my address afterwards, and said they would be back with a bunch of flowers.'

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