A hands-on dad delivered his own daughter in his lounge in just 30 minutes – before an ambulance could arrive.
Jack Dodd, 25, made sure baby Poppy arrived in the world safely when fiancée Katie Carver, 27, went into labour last week.
He sprung into action as soon as Katie’s waters broke, dialling 999 but was told paramedics wouldn’t be with the couple in time.
Jack, from Bolehall, Staffordshire, was then forced to take on the challenge himself, which he says made him “absolutely terrified”.
But he said “outstanding” emergency workers coached him through the entire process down the phone and helped him to deliver his child safely.
A perfectly healthy Poppy was born at 5.07am on Wednesday, January 13, weighing 8lbs 12oz.
Jack said: “Half of me was absolutely terrified at the idea of delivering the baby myself but the other half felt like I had strength out of nowhere that made me capable of doing such a job.
“I had researched the pregnancy and labour and I was worried about Katie being hurt.
“I’ve seen lots of films and programmes with births and they’re screaming and sweating but Katie was an absolute diamond and delivered such a beautiful girl in just under 30 minutes.
“Tensions were high and Katie started pushing. After 25 to 30 minutes, Poppy was born.
“I can’t say it’s sunk in yet, it feels like I’m babysitting and waiting for the parents to collect their baby. I think a few more sleepless nights and reality will hit!”
Jack swung into action shortly after the couple had returned from having checks at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital – when Katie’s waters broke.
He called a midwife who told him she was in labour and to dial 999.
But, when Jack called the emergency number just before 4.10am, he was told it would be a home birth as Poppy was well on her way.
He said: “I followed exactly what they said. I was following instructions and trying to help deliver along with calming Katie down.
“The paramedics were absolutely outstanding and made the situation as calm as it could be. I was relaxed by their banter and tips. I could pass their information to Katie while she was using my hand as a stress ball.
“Emily, [Poppy’s] sister, became the towel collector. She grabbed all the towels and tea towels we had – thankfully I didn’t like them anyway and we could do with new ones!
“We were whisked off in a convoy of ambulances to get Katie to hospital once Poppy was here so she could deliver the placenta.
“With Emily she had complications delivering the placenta so they wanted to get her straight to hospital in case of any issues.
“It was exciting to have the sirens and lights on, it was a little surreal. We arrived at Burton Hospital and I was able to hold my beautiful daughter the whole time.
“We were there for a good few hours and managed to get back home around 6pm.
“We were bought a scrumptious dinner from a family member via Uber Eats and were home no longer than five minutes before a neighbour brought a bottle of Champagne round for us.
“My sister jokes we are taking the lockdown too seriously. She tried to remind us that, while we can’t leave the house for some things, when it comes to birth there is exceptions!
“This lockdown has been challenging but the hope of a better future has kept us going.
“It is a shame our families have to look through the window to see their new niece, granddaughter and even great-granddaughter but it won’t be forever and we are all looking forward to hugs and cuddles.”
Jack is a director of online vape stores VaperChaserUK and VCUK Wholesale. Katie works for the Co-Op.
He added: “We came up with the name Poppy as my brother and dad were in the military so I’ve a huge emotional attachment to poppies.
“She is doing great, healthy and beautiful. She’s been sleeping and feeding great.
“Mummy has been doing really well too, she’s ever so slightly stubborn so she’s saying she’s fine but I know she’s in pain. I am doing what I can to help.
“She’s been having plenty of rest and cuddles with Emily and Poppy and will soon be back on her feet running around with us all to music.
“Emily’s been the best big sister I could ever have imagined and as always Katie is being the best mum anyone can ask for. I won’t be in the dog house for a couple of weeks after my efforts!”
Katie said: “Thank you to Jack for being my absolute rock throughout this whole pregnancy to helping delivering our daughter and for taking care of me since it all happened; I could not have done it without him.
“Emily is our little superstar and is such a big help and amazing big sister already. I love them all so much. Thank you to everyone for the lovely messages, cards and gifts. We are all doing well and couldn’t be more happy.”