Father delivers baby in Scalloway layby

A couple from Scalloway have described how their baby was delivered at the side of the road after they realised they would not make it to the hospital in time.

Debbie and Alistair Morgan were driving to the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick, early on Wednesday morning, when Debbie realised she could not hold on any longer.

The couple were travelling down the “rough road” from their croft in Burwick when the car “hit a few bumps that we couldn’t avoid”, Alistair explained.

It was at this moment that Debbie’s waters broke, just a short while after she had gone into labour.

When Debbie said that the baby was going to arrive before they could make it to Lerwick, Alistair found a safe place to pull over and then jumped into action to deliver his third child.

Alistair describes the instinctive way in which he responded to the challenge, saying that he wasn’t “nervous or panicking.”

“It’s not bravado” he added, “you just realise that this is something that needs done, there’s no time to panic.”

After delivering Ryley, 9lbs 5oz, the father “lifted him up to Debbie, got a few blankets out and turned the heating on.”

The couple then continued on to the hospital, with Debbie phoning to alert hospital staff once she found a mobile phone signal.

Maternity and A&E staff met the couple in the ambulance bay to attend to mother and baby. Both are doing well and were back home the same day.

Speaking about the experience Debbie said that she had “expected to have a bit more time.”

After realising that she was going into labour the couple phoned Alistair’s parents to look after Jeemsie, three, and Aodee, one.

Debbie said: “Both of my other labours had been quite long so I told Alistair there was no rush. Then after a little while I said actually, maybe you could rush a little bit.”

Once her waters broke Debbie told her husband that she “would try to hold him in.” She soon realised this was impossible and described how Alistair then burst into action.

“Ali ran around and stripped of his jumper and jacket, the baby was already crowning and I thought okay this is happening. And then he just came out.”

Debbie said that she and Alistair had later quipped about his experience delivering lambs on their croft at Burwick and how that might have helped him deliver Ryley.

“He said I was a bit easier and that I wasn’t spricklin about as much,” Debbie joked.

Once mother and baby were safe and comfortable in the care of the Gilbert Bain’s maternity staff Alistair returned home to tell Jeemsie and Aodee about their baby brother.

“They were so excited and desperate to meet their baby, baby brother,” Debbie said.

And Debbie’s parents soon arrived in Shetland as well, having travelled from Spain to meet their grandson.


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