When Clare Callaghan went into labour
at home she thought she would have plenty of time to call for an ambulance.
But her baby was too quick and she ended up giving birth on the sofa in her lounge with no one to help her.
And the dramadidn't stop there. She also had to save newborn Pippa after she stopped breathing because she was born still in her amniotic sac
Now Clare and baby Pippa are back safely at home after their ordeal.
Clare, 33, a full-time mum from Liverpool says: "I'm still in shock over what happened. Not only did I end up delivering my daughter on my own, but I saved her life too.
It was terrifying, but I'm just glad I managed to act quickly - or else my daughter may not have been here today. When she's old enough I'll tell her how I delivered her and saved her life - she really is my little miracle.
Clare had just dropped her two sons, Daniel, six, and James, 12, off at school when she began to experience stomach pains:
"I'd had a difficult pregnancy
so initially I thought the pains were false contractions. The baby wasn't due for another two weeks. My son Daniel had been born 10 weeks prematurely
so I was worried when the pains started.
"I thought I'd have plenty of time to get to hospital to get checked out, but then the pains began getting much stronger very quickly.
"I realised that I must be in labour and phoned the ambulance. But whilst I was talking to the operator telling her how much pain I was in, the baby started to come out. I'd only started with the pains about ten minutes previously, yet the baby was already on her way."
When Clare looked down, she could see the baby's head starting to emerge, but the baby was still in the amniotic sac:
"It just looked like the baby was in a balloon. I could see her little face through it. I knew the amniotic sac should have burst before the baby started coming, so I started to panic. I knew that something was wrong."
Clare remained on the telephone to the operator whilst she was giving birth. She was told that she must rip open the amniotic sac to save her baby's life:
"I was so scared that I wasn't going to be able to save my baby. The operator told me to try and find a pin to burst the amniotic sac open to free the baby, but I had just given birth and I knew that I didn't have a pin in the house.
So I had to break it open with my hands, which was difficult. I don't know where I got the strength from, but I knew I had to do it to save my baby's life. The operator was shouting at me that I needed to do it quickly, or else the baby would stop breathing.
Clare finally managed to free her baby daughter, but she wasn't breathing.
"She was just limp in my arms and not breathing. The operator told me to rub her back and clear her airways which I did," explains Clare. "Then she suddenly started to cry. It was the sweetest thing that I have ever heard. I knew she was alive. I grabbed the rug off the sofa and wrapped her in it to keep her warm."
The ambulance arrived a few minutes after the birth and Clare and Pippa were taken to Liverpool Womens Hospital, where doctors checked them both over. Pippa weighed 5lb 4oz.
"I had to stay overnight because Pippa was a small birth weight and they wanted to check her blood sugar levels," says Clare.
"But we were allowed home the next day, and I had to break the news to my family and friends that I'd delivered her myself at home. No one could quite believe it, especially when I told them also that I'd saved her life.
"I can't believe my labour was only 15 minutes from start to finish. I'm lucky that she was only a small baby as if she'd been a lot bigger it would have been more difficult."
Clare is now at home enjoying life with new baby Pippa, who is now four weeks old:
"The boys adore their sister, and they are proud of me that I managed to deliver her myself.
Wow, now that's a birth story! Huge congratulations from everyone at Parentdish, Clare.
After the trauma of her birth I can now put it behind us and just get on and enjoy being a mum. Not many mums can say they delivered their own babies - and saved their life too.
Do you have a dramatic birth story to rival Clare and Pippa?
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- Granny who didn't know she was pregnant gives birth in the street
Gran Jane Eadie got the shock of her life when she went into labour on a Derbyshire street - especially as she didn’t know she was pregnant! Jane had stomach pains while out and about, and sat down on a bench to rest. She then surprised passers-by, and herself, by going into labour and <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/10/06/granny-gives-birth-to-baby-boy-in-a-derbyshire-street/" target="_blank">giving birth to a little boy </a>called James. Jane said she had noticed she had put on weight, but thought she was menopausal!</p>
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Poor Sarah Plews ended up <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/12/12/mum-gives-birth-in-shop-doorway-unusual-birth-story-location/" target="_blank">giving birth in a shop doorway</a> after midwives turned her away from hospital! The mum-to-be was told to go for a walk and get some lunch, as she wasn’t ready to give birth. Sarah and husband, Dave walked to a nearby café, but as they made their way back to the hospital, baby Ivy made her arrival, with Sarah sitting in a shop doorway. Despite the dramatic delivery, Sarah had nothing but praise for the midwives, but did want to say “I told you so!”</p>
- Mum gives birth live on the internet
Mum of three Nancy Salgueiro <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/10/17/mum-gives-birth-live-on-the-internet/" target="_blank">gave birth live on the net</a> in October, welcoming a 6lbs, 10oz baby boy in front of 13,350 viewers. Nancy, from Canada had a water birth, before her two-year-old son Taivus cut the umbilical cord and five-year-old daughter Leilani looked on.</p>
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Despite delivering thousands of babies, Claire Clarke-Wood didn’t expect to have to be her own midwife. But when she went into labour at home three weeks early, she <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/12/29/midwife-claire-clarke-wood-delivers-her-own-baby-daughter-esmay-using-a-make-up-mirror/" target="_blank">delivered baby Esmay herself,</a> using a make-up mirror in her bathroom to see what was happening! After having contractions, Claire called an ambulance, but super-speedy Esmay made her entrance before they arrived, weighing 6lb, 12oz.</p>
- Mum gives birth in Clarks
Michelle Collins came away with more than she expected when she went shoe shopping close to her due date. She went into <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/11/28/mum-names-son-ethan-clark-after-giving-birth-in-clarks-shoe-shop/" target="_blank">labour in a branch of Clarks,</a> and then named her new arrival after the shoe chain, choosing the moniker Ethan Clark. Michelle gave birth to Ethan in the staff room of a Clarks factory outlet in Street, Somerset, and funnily enough, didn’t actually get any shopping done…</p>
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- Mum runs marathon and gives birth hours later
Sporty Amber Miller made headlines when she ran a marathon while heavily pregnant, and then <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/10/11/mum-runs-marathon-then-delivers-her-baby/" target="_blank">gave birth hours later</a>. Amber completed the 26 mile race in 6.5 hours, but had to walk the second half after her contractions started! After a quick bite to eat, she headed to hospital and gave birth to baby June, weighing 7lbs and 130z.</p>
- Mum takes driving test while having contractions
When heavily pregnant Emma French started having contractions just before taking her driving test, she was determined to get through it, so she wouldn’t have to wait months for another test! Emma kept her contractions a secret from her examiner and instructor, and <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/11/01/mum-takes-driving-test-whilst-in-labour-and-drives-herself-to-hospital-for-birth/" target="_blank">passed her test before driving herself to hospital</a> where she gave birth to baby Eva.</p>
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- Mum delivers baby home alone... then has to save her life minutes later
Clare Callaghan went into labour home alone. <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/pregnancy-and-birth/mum-delivers-baby-home-alone-then-saves-her-life-minutes-later/" target="_blank">She then had to save newborn Pippa after she stopped breathing because she was born still in her amniotic sac</a>. Clare then had to rip it apart to save her newborn daughter’s life. “I had to break it open with my hands, which was difficult,” says Clare. “I don't know where I got the strength from, but I knew I had to do it to save my baby's life.”</p>
- Mum gives birth on back seat of cab
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- Mum gives birth in front of cheering bus stop queue!
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- Mum's backache was labour and a surprise baby!
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- Baby born 1000 ft in the air inside Coastguard helicopter
In December 2012, <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/12/11/baby-born-1000-ft-in-the-air-inside-coastguard-helicopter-unst/" target="_blank">a baby was born a whopping 1000 ft in the air in a Shetland Coastguard helicopter!</a> The expectant mum went into labour on Unst, the most northerly inhabited island of the UK, and was collected by helicopter to be taken to the mainland. Stressful!</p>
- Mum gives birth on a plane
A woman named her new baby after one of the flight attendants who came to her aid when she <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2013/01/14/mum-gives-birth-on-plane/" target="_blank">went into labour during a flight!</a> Armina Babayan, 31, was flying to Armenia from Siberia on Saturday, and gave birth to a baby daughter mid-air, two hours before the flight landed in the capital city of Yerevan. </p>
- Woman who didn't know she was pregnant gives birth on Christmas Day
Leanne Carter, 21, gave birth on Christmas Day - to a son called Joseph. Giving a whole new meaning to Christmas surprises, <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/12/31/woman-leanne-carter-gave-birth-on-christmas-day-she-didnt-know-she-was-pregnant-surprise-baby-joseph/" target="_blank">she had no idea she was pregnant until she went into labour.</a> Leanne had felt a bit bloated just before Christmas, but was still having her periods and did not have any other pregnancy symptoms.</p>