West Yorkshire dad who delivered his own baby describes the “craziest” 30 minutes of his life

A West Yorkshire dad who had to deliver his own baby at home after his partner suddenly went into labour has described it as the “craziest” and “most surreal” 30 minutes of his life.

By Abbey Maclure
Thursday, 21st January 2021, 11:52 am
Joe Guest, 35, with girlfriend Charlotte Symonds, 38, and baby Ophelia
Joe Guest, 35, with girlfriend Charlotte Symonds, 38, and baby Ophelia

Joe Guest’s girlfriend Charlotte Symonds was two days overdue when she went into labour at around 7pm on January 7.

Business analyst Joe, 35, realised the pressure was on just minutes later after ringing for midwives to attend and being told both were over an hour away.

Charlotte, 38, said she “knew the baby was coming” and that the only person who could help was her other half - who has no medical expertise whatsoever.

Little baby Ophelia was born at the couple's home near Keighley at 8.01pm

Joe dialled 999 and spoke to a handler called Jessica, who proceeded to do an “amazing” job talking Joe through the process of delivering baby Ophelia.

He said: “There was definitely a moment of panic but I have a vivid memory of thinking to myself, ‘okay there’s no one else here, I have to do it myself’.

“I looked down and there was a little ball of black hair poking through. I might have let out a little scream at that point.

“Next thing I know there was a baby on the bed, she had just popped out.”

Joe has described the delivery described it as the craziest and most surreal 30 minutes of his life

Joe, who has two children from a previous relationship, said “everything happened so quickly” and that before he knew it he had the baby in his hands wrapped in towels.

Despite the absence of a midwife or nurse little Ophelia was a picture of health according to the medical professionals - who didn’t arrive for another 30 minutes.

Charlotte, who has one child from a previous relationship, said: “Joe is acting like the hero now and he did do a really good job.

“When I could tell she was coming he was really calming me down.

“To be honest I did hear a bit of panic in his voice when he saw the head, but other than that he was great.”

Charlotte said she had felt “twinges” in her stomach throughout the day of January 7 but not to the point she thought medical assistance was required.

She began feeling contractions at around 7pm while taking a bath and said she “knew the baby was coming” after getting out and lying on her bed.

Joe said it was at that time he rang for a midwife and was told two were on their way, although they were travelling more than an hour from his and Charlotte’s house near Keighley.

He added: “The contractions were getting really bad, it was all happening really quickly.”

Joe said he got a call from one of the midwives at 7.30pm saying they were 52 minutes away and that seconds later his partner was “screaming” in pain.

He added: “Initially I thought we had a bit of time because she had only been in labour for 30 minutes or so.

“Next thing I knew Charlotte is lying on the bed and she tells me ‘I think it’s coming’.”

Joe said Jessica, whose last name he doesn’t know, then did a brilliant job talking him through the process of delivering the baby.

He added: “She was really amazing and it was her first time doing it as well apparently.”

Little baby Ophelia was born at 8.01pm.

Joe said the two midwives and four paramedics all arrived around 30 minutes later and helped make sure the baby and mum Charlotte were both healthy.

He added: “It was such a surreal experience.

“One minute it was the two of us, then three and then we had a whole room full of people.

“By about 10.30pm they had all gone and it was the three of us again.”

Charlotte said: “It wasn’t quite how I imagined it happening but in the end Joe did a really good job.

She added: “Ophelia is great, she’s the most chilled out baby I’ve ever known.

“She’s absolutely beautiful, we’re really pleased.”