FORGET tales of babies being born beneath the gooseberry bush – this little one arrived on his gran’s front lawn.
Impatient newborn Kian Stuart McLay made a shock al fresco appearance on Saturday night as mum Mairi and dad Stuart McLay were trying to make their way to hospital.
And it was left to Mairi’s mum, supergran Sylvia Stevenson to deliver her own grandson in the front garden.
Today Mairi and 7lb 1oz baby Kian are back home, none the worse for the rapid and unconventional outdoor arrival beside the driveway of Sylvia’s Avalon Gardens home in Linlithgow Bridge.
“It wasn’t exactly what I planned,” admitted Mairi, 23, of Bo’ness, who is already mum to one-year-old Lewis.
“I think we’re all a bit shell shocked, it all happened so quick. I was lying there looking at the open car door, on the grass and terrified something was going to go wrong.
“At least the two people I love most in the world where with me. Unfortunately neither of them had ever delivered a baby before.”
Sylvia, 50, delivered the baby and then, startled at his slightly blue tone stayed calm and massaged him gently until he let out his first cry.
“It was all a bit of a blur,” she admitted. “Everything happened so quickly. Your instincts just take over. He was a very determined baby.”
Until then Kian had been making everyone wait for his dramatic entrance – Mairi was eight days past her expected delivery date when she started to finally feel pangs on Saturday morning.
Maternity staff at St John’s told her to come to the ward once her contractions were closer together but by early Saturday evening there was no dramatic change.
“I was sitting at home in my jammies watching television and texting her to see how she was,” recalled Sylvia.
“At 9.30pm she said the contractions were about every eight minutes.
“Then 15 minutes later I got a text saying she was on her way, she’d drop Lewis and the dog with me and then go to hospital.
“Everything happened really fast after that.”
Mobile phone logs show Stuart, 27, was in touch at 21.53 to say he’d contacted the maternity staff at St John’s in Livingston to confirm they were making the half-hour dash from home in Bo’ness to Livingston, via Sylvia’s home.
Just six minutes later he was back on the phone with a plea to Sylvia to make arrangements for an ambulance and with Mairi in the passenger seat of the family car, fighting the overwhelming urge to push.
“By the time we were on the road, I had to push,” said Mairi, whose labour with Lewis was almost as fast and ended with her arriving at hospital with just half an hour to spare before he arrived.
“All I remember is Lewis giggling away in the back seat and me telling Stuart that this baby wasn’t going to hang around.
“It must have been awful for him trying to deal with Lewis in the back, me in labour and the dog bouncing around the car.
“In total my proper labour only lasted about 15 minutes – most of that was spent in the car.”
By the time the frantic couple drew up at Sylvia’s driveway, Kian was already on his way. And it was down to Sylvia to keep her cool and safely deliver her grandson, assisted by Stuart.
“I could see Mairi was struggling,” said Sylvia.
“I thought we could get her to the kitchen, but we got as far as helping her out of the car and she had to lie on the grass.
“I got the fright of my life when I realised the baby’s head was already there.”
Stuart helped make Mairi comfortable while her brother Ross, 22, calmly took charge of the family dog and little Lewis, oblivious to the drama unfolding on his gran’s front lawn.
Meanwhile Sylvia cradled Kian’s head in her hands while Mairi gave one final push. “He was a bit blue, so I rubbed his back with towels that Stuart brought, cleaned his face and then he started to cry,” added Sylvia. “It was then that we thought he’d be okay.”
Neighbours who saw the commotion came to help out, while Stuart helped wrap his son in fresh towels and tended to Mairi so she could enjoy their baby’s first proper cuddle.
“Mairi was amazing, she is such a resilient soul,” added Sylvia.
“There are no fences or hedges around the garden, she was open to the elements but she just got on with it and didn’t even make a noise. At one point a woman passed by with a couple of kids and asked if I needed a hand. Looking back, it was all quite surreal.”