When Eileen McGowan delivered her granddaughter in her living room 21 years ago she thought it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Little did she know that two decades later she would again be welcoming a new addition to the family in her home. Eileen’s grandson Steven Shaw, 29, was expecting a baby with his girlfriend Amanda Thomson, 27.
Amanda went in to labour on the expected date, but the baby did not want to wait. With no time to get Amanda to hospital, Eileen, 68, had to step in – delivering the baby boy on the floor of her kitchen.
It was a case of history repeating itstelf for Eileen, who helped bring her granddaughter Joanna into the world in 1990 when her daughter Audrey Gray went in to labour two weeks early.
The newest addition to the family – Lucas – was born at 9.44pm on November 9 and weighed 7lb 9oz.
Eileen, of Muirfield Way, Livingston, said: “When Amanda went into labour, we couldn’t get her to the hospital quickly enough so I just had to improvise with the floor.
“I don’t have any nursing training. I’m just an ordinary housewife, but I think I managed OK.
“I stayed calm and just gave Amanda a helping hand – there’s certainly no point in panicking at a time like that.”
When Lucas arrived Eileen heated up a towel and wrapped him up to keep him warm.
She said: “The ambulance crew arrived and I told them the job had already been done and all that was left to do was cut the cord.
“I think the paramedics were a bit surprised when I told them that Lucas had already been delivered!
“Last time, when I delivered Joanna, everything happened the same way – I don’t know if it’s something about this house! I hope it doesn’t happen a third time, but you never know!”
Mother and baby are now coming along just fine at Eileen’s home, where the family is to stay for the next few days.
Eileen – who was a foster carer with Barnardo’s for 28 years – now has eight great-grandchildren and 13 grandchildren.
Proud dad Steven was at work at the Tesco Distribution Centre in Livingston when he got a call to let him know Amanda had gone into labour. He rushed home and just minutes later Lucas arrived.
He said: “I got in the door just five minutes before he was born.
“It really was a great experience and I trusted my gran completely because she has done it before – the whole thing seemed safer because she was there.
“I grew up with my gran most of my life and I knew the wee man would be just fine with her.”