A mum has shared her story of unexpectedly giving birth in the car park of her local B&Q.
Laura Moore, 26 from Cannock, Staffordshire had been hoping to welcome her baby during a calm water birth at home, but when her blood pressure started rising during contractions on October 21 earlier this year, she was advised to go straight to hospital.
The design agency assistant and her fiancé, Dan Coppinger, also 26, were on their way to the maternity ward 12 miles away, when just a few minutes from home, the mum-to-be had an overwhelming urge to push.
“We hadn’t long left home and suddenly something changed and I felt the need to push," Moore explains.
“I shrieked at Dan to pull over, but at first he didn’t think I was serious and said we should carry on to the hospital."
But, having realised his partner wasn't joking, Coppinger, frantically searched for somewhere safe to stop.
“When he pulled into the shop car park I thought, I can’t do this here, I am not giving birth in a carpark in my Ford Focus!" Moore says.
“But our baby wasn’t giving me a choice."
Quickly grasping the urgency of the situation, Coppinger realised his second baby wasn't going to wait and he was going to have to deliver their newborn himself outside the DIY store.
“Dan called an ambulance and they told him to check for baby’s head," Moore continues.
“We had car seats in the back of our car, so I couldn’t lie down and had to stay in the passenger seat.
“With my son I had an epidural in hospital, but this time my body just took over and I knew it was time.”
The teenage sweethearts, who met at school and have been engaged since 2018, also have a son, William aged two.
She adds: “Dan was on the phone to the ambulance and managed to get towels and blankets out of my hospital bags.
“He was at William’s birth, but this time he was much more hands on with the delivery.”
Seconds before Millie-Rose Coppinger was born, two ambulances and community midwives arrived and the newborn was safely delivered at 7.16am.
The couple had chosen not to find out the gender before the birth so it was a double surprise for everyone.
Moore had arranged for her sister-in-law to watch their toddler and once safely in hospital, Coppinger, a senior graphic designer, called the family to share their news and announce they had welcomed a healthy daughter.
“Our families couldn’t believe it when we told them we didn’t make it to the hospital," Moore adds. "They were so shocked when we told them where she was born.”
Reflecting on her daughter’s dramatic arrival, Moore says: “I’m pretty easy going and never had birth plan that was set in stone as I know things can change, but it certainly wasn't the birth I had hoped for.
“When I said I wanted pictures of my labour, I didn’t mean store CCTV," she jokes.
While she was disappointed not to have a water birth at home, ultimately Moore is grateful her daughter arrived safely.
"We had the pool set up ready but when the midwives told me my blood pressure was too high, I knew it was safest for me to go to hospital, well try to,” she says.
Her arrival, two days early, may have been a little dramatic, but Millie-Rose has since settled in well at home.
“She is three weeks old now and we can’t remember life without her," Moore adds.
Additional reporting Caters.