Thank-yous at festive reunion after Charlie's birth in the smallest room
THE parents of a baby born in their tiny downstairs loo have had a festive reunion with the paramedics who helped them after their "shock" arrival.
Charlie Halliburton's sudden birth at home left him struggling to breathe and he had to be rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.
Mum Helen, 30, also needed surgery after the birth – but mother and son were both given the all-clear and reunited after a few days.
It was left to dad Mark, 31, to deliver Charlie at the couple's house in Oakwood – with the help of an ambulance worker at the other end of a phone line.
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The drama began after Helen's waters broke at home. No reason to panic, we've got plenty of time, they thought, as they tried to find someone to look after their two-year-old son, Joseph.
Charlie, however, had other ideas – and was born just under two hours later.
Mark said: "Charlie's quick birth was a real shock for us but Helen was amazing. Although it was stressful at the time, it's actually really nice to think that Charlie was born at home.
"He's our home-made baby and we're so looking forward to his first Christmas."
The couple say that every time they go into their downstairs toilet now, they cannot help but have a little smile to themselves.
Helen said: "I feel quite proud when I think about it now. A lot of couples wish to give birth at home – it is an important part of the experience for them.
"And, although we didn't plan to have Charlie anywhere other than the hospital, I'm now proud that we manage to deliver him by ourselves at home.
"I've taken a picture of the room and I'm going to put it in an album for him."
It was at 5.45am on September 29 this year when Helen started having contractions. Charlie had been due to be born three days earlier.
But she said she did not realise how quickly Charlie would arrive. She even emptied her dishwasher and folded some washing but, when she went to the toilet, she realised the baby was coming.
Less than two hours later, she gave birth to Charlie – weighing 91b 12oz – with the help of her husband at their home, off Bishops Drive.
Mark, an engineer, was able to deliver the baby with the help of a call handler from East Midlands Ambulance Service.
But the fast arrival left both the mother and child in shock, with Charlie cold and unable to breathe properly.
Two ambulances were sent to the home, with Helen looked after by one crew and Charlie treated by the other.
Mark said: "I never expected to be delivering my own baby – we'd planned a delivery in hospital, the same as Joseph, and the hospital bag was all ready.
"We'd just managed to get Joseph to the child-minder, thinking we'd then go to hospital, but Charlie had other ideas. It all happened so fast.
"I called 999 when Helen said she had to push but the call handler was very reassuring.
"Because I was there when Joseph was born, I had a reasonable idea about what to do – but it was still a bit of shock.
"Helen was leaning against the wall, sort of wedged in, and she was obviously in a lot of pain, but she did really well. We were just relieved when it was over."
After the paramedics worked on Charlie's airways, he was taken to the Royal Derby Hospital.
He was given the all-clear later that day but teacher Helen, who needed surgery and stitches, was not released until three days later.
She said: "I think I was quite calm, although my biggest worry at first had been to make sure someone was looking after Joseph. After that, I couldn't really think about anything else other than getting the baby out.
"When he was born, I really wanted to see him but he was whisked off to hospital and so was I. It was great when we were reunited."
The couple invited paramedics Andrew Turner and Rosie Klich back to their home to thank them for their help after the birth.