Builder turns midwife to deliver his baby son at rural Dartmoor home
A builder had to deliver his own baby in a remote Dartmoor home, with only a voice over the phone for guidance.
Kayleigh Brimblescombe gave birth to her son Isaac last week, with only partner Jason Williams on hand to help.
His only hands-on experience of birth involved livestock, but Mr Williams even managed to deal with the scare of the umbilical chord being wrapped around his son's neck, thanks to the reassurance from a 999 operator on his mobile phone.
Earlier in the day, Miss Brimblescombe, 22, was having contractions after midwives performed a "sweep" to speed up the birth process because the baby was a week overdue. Staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E) told them to return to their converted barn near Moretonhampstead because Miss Brimblescombe was not significantly dilated.
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Mr Williams, 40, said his partner's waters broke soon after they got home. "We got her into the car and drove to the gate about 50 yards away, but by that time she was screaming that she was having the baby.
"I managed to get her back into the bedroom. I rang the midwife and she told me to call 999. I got the ambulance operator, and she was absolutely brilliant at talking me through the whole thing, but the phone reception is rubbish here so I had to hang the phone on the curtain rail and put it on loud speaker. It was an experience.
"It felt like it took forever, and I had no idea what I was doing. I had to keep running downstairs to check for the ambulance, which was being sent all around Dartmoor by Satnav. The baby was here 20 minutes before the midwife arrived.
"It was quite scary. I was just trying to keep calm, but then we realised that the chord was wrapped around his neck. The operator was absolutely fantastic. It was like she was in the room.
"Then he came out on a contraction and I whipped the chord from around his neck and he shouted out immediately. It was such a relief.
"It was very emotional. I was holding back the tears, and I'm so proud of Kay. When you're put in that position you just try to deal with it the best you can. I'm still floating. It just hasn't hit me that I delivered my own son."
Now, the family is getting to know their alert new son with his shock of dark hair, who is being doted on by 17-month-old sister Mylla.
Miss Brimblescombe admitted she initially "freaked out" when she realised the family would be alone, but that her partner quickly calmed and reassured her. "I just had to put everything into Jason's hands," she said. "He did an absolutely marvellous job.
"It has brought a whole new level of trust to our relationship. It's a very intimate thing to know someone did that."
RD&E spokesman Brian Mackness said the hospital would not send couples home if they were in distress. He said: "We do accept that sometimes births happen very quickly, and we're happy that mother and baby are doing well."