A DAD had to help his wife deliver their baby son just hours after she had left a maternity unit.
Ronan Smith delivered his son holding a phone in one hand as he took directions from a paramedic.
His wife Asia, who is originally from Poland, gave birth on Friday night last, on the landing of their home in Gort, Co Galway.
Little Jakub was born within half an hour of his mother's waters breaking.
Ronan also had to contend with the couple's daughter Sophie (18 months) who had woken from her sleep, finding time during the panic to change her nappy and soothe her.
"It's a story I'll never get tired of telling," the delighted care worker said. "I wouldn't have chosen it but it turned out to be the most wonderful experience of my life."
On Friday morning last, Asia got the first indication that her second baby was on the way and the couple went to the maternity unit at Galway University Hospital.
"Asia was examined but there was nothing happening. At 6.30pm we asked if we could go home and left in the knowledge if we were happy to go, they were happy to let us," he said.
The couple collected Sophie from his brother's house and settled in to a quiet Friday night – until baby had other ideas.
"Asia was feeling cramps later that evening but she didn't think her contractions had started. At 10.30pm, her waters broke and we knew we had to go," he said.
But things began to happen quickly after that. Ronan rang the hospital while his wife contacted the ambulance. "In the panic of talking to the ambulance crew, I cut off the hospital," he recalled.
"A paramedic asked me if the baby had crowned and I'd say within the next two or three seconds, he just dropped into my arms."
The ambulance crew told him to encourage the baby to cry. "I felt a bit calmer then. I knew we were over the worst and we had some lovely family time on the landing just the four of us, waiting for the ambulance to arrive."
Mother and baby were taken to hospital where they were monitored until staff were sure everything was all right.