A mum gave birth by torchlight in a petrol station after going into labour before she could reach the hospital.
Stephanie Richardson and her partner Matthew Varley, both 29, welcomed their third child Lucy in the back of their pick-up truck in the early hours of Friday.
She joked there was ‘no gas or air’ inside, despite them stopping at the Jet station on the A691 in Lanchester, County Durham.
Fortunately, it was closed, giving Stephanie privacy from long queues of motorists which have been seen at forecourts over the past fortnight.
Her midwife friend travelled with the couple and delivered the healthy 6lb 15oz baby at 4.30am.
She said: ‘I’m doing alright now after the drama of it all.
‘It’s just crazy how something like that can happen at the side of the road. I woke up in the middle of the night with pain and I knew it was time.
‘I phoned the midwife who was booked in to deliver my baby at 8am in the morning, and I said: “You need to come over, the baby’s here”.
‘We were going to the hospital with my partner driving, the midwife in the front and me on all fours in the back of our pick-up. There’s no gas and air in the back of a truck!
‘We got from Medomsley to St Bede’s School and had to stop at the petrol station. It actually closes so it was pitch black.
‘The midwife said to ring 999 but within seconds the baby was on the forecourt of the garage.’
They drove on to take Lucy to the University Hospital of North Durham and she’s since returned home.
Stephanie said she was in labour for just 40 minutes, compared to eight hours when she was pregnant with Lucy’s brother Jake and sister Alice.
She said the ‘very calm’ midwife had delivered babies in the hospital car park, but the forecourt location was a first for her.
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