HE may be the only little boy in the Capital to have a shopping centre in his name.
But overjoyed parents Julian Skinner and Nicola McDowall said naming their newborn baby in recognition of Cameron Toll felt “fitting” – after he was delivered next to the retail landmark in the back seat of their silver Chevrolet by an unknown midwife.
The birth of their son – whose middle name will be Cameron – took place on Monday night during a frantic dash to the Royal Infirmary after Nicola was seized by labour pains.
Forced to screech to a halt next to Sainsbury’s as Nicola realised she was in the throes of labour, the couple began to panic.
It was there that their “angel of mercy” – a midwife filling her car with petrol – stepped in to lend an expert hand and ensure the baby was born safely.
Nicola, 34, said: “I just want to say thank you to her – we couldn’t have done it without that lady.”
The mum-of-three said the drama unfolded after she began to feel labour pains at around 8.30pm on Monday.
As the time between contractions dropped from 12 minutes to six in the space of only half an hour, the vet nurse realised her baby was arriving much more quickly than expected and phoned her parents and partner.
Within minutes, Nicola and Julian, 44, who had to race home from a Christmas meal, were in the car and speeding away from their Newington home. But Nicola’s contractions turned into a desire to push as the couple were passing the Minto Hotel. She said: “I phoned the ERI’s triage unit. They said ‘stop the car and call an ambulance’. I just shouted out ‘stop the car!’”
As events became a blur for Nicola, Julian made the decision to pull in and stop next to Sainsbury’s.
Amid rising fear and panic, he rushed around, asking for assistance. Moments later, the couple’s incredible “stroke of luck” materialised. The self-employed electronics engineer said: “This woman came up to me and said she could help, that she was a midwife.
“She was just filling her own car up with petrol – it was a complete coincidence. I just let her take over.
“She flew into the car, cleared a space in the back so Nicola could lie down and then asked for all of the doors to be closed.
“About three minutes later, the baby was delivered and I just heard this midwife shouting for me to give her my jacket so she could wrap the baby in it. Minutes later she left.”
Now home safe and sound, the delighted family have urged their helper to get in touch so they can thank her in person.
Julian said: “We are so grateful for what she did for us.”