Let’s have a happy post again instead of deep and meaningful!
This is one of the rare stories that I can actually use real names and dates as this story has been in the local and national press and on television with the permission of babies mum Melanie.
I was nearly finished a 0600-1800 shift on the rapid response car. It was just coming up to 5pm when I was sent to a full term pregnant lady, wanting to push, at the Angel of the North.
The Angel is a modern art instalation situated beside the A1 motorway at Gateshead. It was designed by the artist/sculpture Anthony Gormley to welcome people to the North of England. It seems to be a very much love it or hate it piece, personally, I really like it. Even more so since August 2007.
I arrived on scene and found a family car with a lady lying across the backseat. Her husband informed me that they were trying to make their way to the hospital when they got stuck in traffic on the A1. They decided to come off and go through the centre of Gateshead instead, but got stuck again in rush hour traffic beside the Angel. Realizing that they weren’t going to make it, they called 999.
It took me about 15 minutes to get there, and I immediately knew that Melanie was going to deliver there and then. Two passing police cars pulled up to see if I needed any help. and as there were alot of tourists at the Angel that day, I asked them to move thier cars onto the path and provide some screening to help Melanie keep some of her dignity. I prepared my maternity kit and got ready to deliver the baby.
On the next push, Melanies waters broke. I can remember thinking:
” he’s never going to get those seats clean again!”
A couple of pushes later babies head appeared along with the umbilical cord around it’s neck. This easily slipped over it’s head and on the next push he was out!
Quick dry and clean, wrapped in some nice warm blankets, cord clamped and cut, and baby Madison was now lying snuggled into mums chest looking all happy and content.
Shortly afterwards, my backup crew arrived, took over care and transported Melanie and Madison to hospital to get checked over.
We ended up doing some press together a couple of weeks later and I will always remember a quote from Melanie which went out on the evening news:
“I looked down and all I could see was my knees, Marks head, then the Angel!”
Certainly a job I won’t forget and I will always have an even greater affection for the Angel of the North now.
The final thing I could do for Melanie was to provide a statement and maps for the registrar of births to prove where Madison was born. He is now the first person in the country to have his place of birth registered as The Angel of the North, Gateshead.