BURTON Labour hopeful Jon Wheale has experienced labour of a different kind after he delivered his own baby ¬- in a hospital car park.
However, the parliamentary candidate has dismissed ideas of changing careers to midwifery despite successfully helping his wife, Emma, deliver a baby girl – Clementine Louise, on a bench at a Surrey hospital early on Sunday morning.
The couple, and their 17-month-old daughter, Betty, had been in London working at the time and their baby was not due for another week.
However, Mr Wheale, an ex army officer, said: “We were planning to be in Burton this weekend but my wife, Emma, started the first signs on Friday.
“Nothing much more happened and at 10pm on Saturday night a midwife confirmed the baby was not imminent. So we waited. But it all moved very quickly in the early hours of Sunday.
“Just after 2am I needed to get Emma to hospital so I drove to East Surrey NHS Hospital. Soon after parking the car we realised the baby was coming so I got Emma to sit on a bench and helped as best I could.
“Our baby arrived after a few minutes, a baby girl. We wrapped her in my coat as it wasn’t that warm. A midwife team arrived and we were taken into hospital.”
Clementine arrived at 2.40am weighing 7lbs 2oz and mother and baby are back in their London home doing well.
Talking about the dramatic birth, he said: “Helping Emma was scary but we just tried not to panic and Emma was very brave.
“We were worried that she was coming but you just have to get on with it. At the end of the day we are just so pleased that it went as well as it did
“I think it was within 15 minutes of us arriving in the car park, she had been born. It was all very quick.
“We will be introducing her to the family but we are staying in London for the moment.
“My family were very surprised but very pleased.”
His mother, Carol, said: “We are absolutely delighted and really pleased. And just looking forward to seeing her when they come back home to Stapenhill.”
Despite his new skills, Mr Wheale, has since decided a career as a midwife is not for him, and praised the work of the midwife team, saying: “I think what they do is just awesome
“They did an excellent job (with us).”