AN ELATED couple have spoken about their ‘hilarious and surreal’ day after the birth of their baby girl – at the side of a road.

Robert Darlington was driving his wife Brooke to Burnley Birth Centre from their Whalley home when the 38-year-old suddenly realised her baby was coming and she wouldn’t make it to hospital.

Mr Darlington pulled over and his wife then had to get out of the car and give birth on all fours at the side of the A6068 in Higham while he spoke to an ambulance operator.

Mrs Darlington, head of the north for phone company 02, said she woke at around 6am on Monday with contractions – but what the couple weren’t prepared for was how quickly the newest addition to their family, who they have named Paloma, was about to arrive.

She said: “This was my second time giving birth, so I knew not to panic and just rang the hospital to say that I had started my contractions and would be in at some point during the day.

“But they started getting quicker and I knew she was on her way. We started driving to the hospital and got stuck in traffic at Read, so my husband drove the back way up Queens Lane and I just said to him ‘you’re going to have to pull over!”

Mrs Darlington then clambered out of the car while her husband retrieved some towels from the boot for her to lie on.

Mr Darlington then rang 999 and stayed on the line with a North West Ambulance Service operator, who talked him through delivering his new daughter, a sister for four-year-old Margot.

Mrs Darlington said: “I was on all fours – there was no dignity! I gave one push and her head came out. The cord was around her neck and my husband had to get it from around her and check she was breathing and that was everything was OK – and it was.

“I just gave birth right there on the side of the road. After around five minutes two ambulances arrived and we were taken to hospital – we are both perfectly fine.”

After a thorough check by doctors and nurses at the hospital, the new family were sent on their way home by 4pm – but not before a quick trip to the couple’s favourite fast food restaurant.

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Mrs Darlington said: “The whole day was unreal; I did not expect it at all. I genuinely thought I’d make it to the hospital.

“We went home via McDonald’s where I ordered almost everything on the menu, I was starving.

“I’m very lucky, I felt very safe in my husband’s hands. He is very practical, and I knew I was in capable hands.

“It was all just so surreal – but also hilarious. I’m not going to lie we haven’t stopped laughing all day, it sounds so ridiculous.”

Mr and Mrs Darlington thanked the NHS and the operator involved in ensuring the safe delivery of Paloma.