Great Dunmow family’s thanks to frontline and emergency services - as baby is born in bathroom

PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 May 2020

Ethan Webster who was born at home in Great Dummow. Picture: Matt Webster

Ethan Webster who was born at home in Great Dummow. Picture: Matt Webster

Matt Webster

A Great Dunmow family is full of praise for frontline services - after an unexpected home birth.

The Webster family the day before Ethan's sudden arrival in Great Dunmow. Picture: Matt WebsterThe Webster family the day before Ethan's sudden arrival in Great Dunmow. Picture: Matt Webster

When Alison Webster went into labour with her second child, she expected a hospital birth in Harlow, possibly without her family because of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

But baby Ethan had other ideas and arrived in around 25 minutes at 2.30pm on May 20, weighting 10lb 1oz.

He was delivered on the bathroom floor, assisted by Alison’s husband Matt and with the couple’s three year old son Finley present.

Matt told the Broadcast that when backup arrived, it was the paramedic technician’s first birth and it was the first day for the firefighter assisting the ambulance service. For one of the two midwives it was also her first Born Before Arrival birth.

“I think it was a day of firsts for everyone!” he said.

He said when Alison’s contractions got closer, they called the hospital. But it became clear they were not going to make it so Matt called 999, only for the crew to be slowed by road closures.

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“Kevin, the 999 call handler, talked me through how to deliver my son in our bathroom!

“To both our relief the delivery went well and we sat together with our new baby and toddler in the bathroom until help arrived. Kevin stayed calm and clear and remained on the line with us until the crew arrived. I will always be grateful.”

The couple had thought Alison at 41 weeks pregnancy would still have time because Finley’s birth was induced.

But keyworker Alison, a speech therapist in Colchester, and Matt had been eating spicy food the evening before and that perhaps encouraged the birth.

Matt used Alison’s trainer laces to tie the umbilical cord. And he said the firefighter had been reassuring and kind to toddler Finley.

Alison and Ethan were taken into hospital for checks. They are both doing well.

Matt said they now have time to get to know each other. Family and friends have to wait to meet Ethan because of lockdown restrictions.

And he hopes his experience gives him kudos at work at Anglia Ruskin University, where he is head of Allied Health, which teaches health skills - though his background is in science.

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