Mum returns home after son's roadside birth
A MOTHER who gave birth on the roadside was back home with her baby son in time to ring in the new year.
Gary McBride delivered his son Harry on the roadside near Kilmacrennan, Co Donegal, after mum Claire went into unexpected labour on their way to Letterkenny General Hospital.
Harry was not due until New Year's Day but arrived unexpectedly before Christmas and was back home in time to celebrate the start of 2012 at the weekend.
At home near Creeslough yesterday, the mother of three recalled the drama of the birth: "It all happened so quickly there was no time to panic. Nature just took over," she said.
She did not expect Harry to arrive early as his siblings, Eddie (16 months) and Hannah (6) had both arrived a week after their due date. But at around 8.30am on December 19, Claire began experiencing cramps.
"They started getting worse and Gary could see there was no time to spare so we started heading on down the road," she recalled.
But conditions could not have been worse for the frantic couple along the 30km route to the hospital.
They had to contend with darkness, driving wind and rain, heavy traffic and even temporary traffic lights, which were on red.
"Everything was going against us. I was sitting in the back seat and I had started getting contractions. I knew I didn't have long and every delay seemed to last forever," she said.
Finally, realising they wouldn't make it to their destination, unemployed builder Mr McBride pulled off the road and set about delivering his baby son.
"He pulled up a little side road and called for an ambulance. I was standing in the back seat. It was just me and Gary. The baby was born in seconds.
"Not long after that, the ambulance came and took us to the hospital."