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Sister act: Daughter delivers mum's baby on sofa at Chessington home
A mum told by Kingston Hospital she was “nowhere near labour” ended up giving birth on her sofa at home – with her eldest daughter as midwife.
Sara Crowden, 41, from Chessington, said the experience still had not sunk in.
Her ordeal started when her waters broke in the car park at New Malden Tesco last Thursday evening, and ended at about 7am the next day when Karis-Ruby was born weighing 6lb 6oz.
She said: “I went back to the hospital at 2am when it was quite unbearable and they said ‘You’re not really in established labour so I am sending you home’.
“Home I went again and when I got home I was in a lot of pain.
“When I needed them and I was quite desperate they were saying, take a bath and have some paracetamol, but I knew it was going to happen fast. All of a sudden she just came into the world.
“It was the paramedics who really shone for me, and of course Jade. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her – thank goodness she was here.”
Heroine of the moment Jade McQueen, 22, said she stayed calm for the sake of Karis-Ruby.
She said: “I did not really have a choice because if you lose it you are going to stress the mum, which is going to stress the baby. I am not put off by private parts or anything.
“I had no idea what was going to happen. I rang 999 and they said ‘If she needs to push then you need to prepare to deliver this baby’.
“She told me what to do and she stayed on the phone while I was delivering her. She anticipated exactly what was going to happen – she was really helpful.”
Sara also praised lifelong friend Steven Horton, now Karis-Ruby’s godfather, who helped with the birth at the home in Moor Lane and then went back to work in north London after only two hours’ sleep.
She said: “He has been my friend since I was four years old so we have grown up together. I was glad he was there.”
Paramedics Louise Walker and Nicola Chambers said: “When we arrived the baby, a little girl, had already been born so we checked her over and she was happy and healthy.
“The daughter, who had assisted with the birth, was fantastic – apparently she couldn’t even watch One Born Every Minute – but when it came to it she got stuck in and did everything she needed to do right.
“The mother was incredible; she had coped with the whole thing with no pain relief.
“It was our first job of the day – so it really set us on a nice feeling for the day ahead.”
A Kingston Hospital spokeswoman said: "Ms Crowden attended the maternity unit on two separate occasions before the birth of her daughter but was found to be in the early stages of labour.
"Ms Crowden was encouraged to contact the unit should things change and she felt the need to return.
“Every woman’s labour is different and unfortunately you can’t always predict how quickly the labour will progress.
"We have audited the number of babies born in similar circumstances and are confident they are no higher than the national reported rates and that no women or babies have experienced an adverse outcome as a result.
"Since the birth of Ms Crowden’s daughter, one of our midwifery team has visited mum and baby at home and we are pleased that both are doing well and are receiving the necessary postnatal care and support."