A mother from Redbourn has vowed that her next baby will be born at home after she had to give birth to her son on the hard shoulder of the M1.
When Adele Irwin’s contractions became regular she thought she had time to make the journey to Watford General. However soon after jumping in the car with her husband David she realised she was wrong.
The couple joined the motorway at Junction 9 but before they reached the exit for Junction 7/8 Mrs Irwin’s need to push became too strong and the baby was crowning.
The 30-year-old, who lives in Cumberland Drive, said: “My husband had been driving in the fast lane but I said this baby is coming now.
“I just had to push.”
Her husband pulled onto the hard shoulder and called for an ambulance.
The 999 operator asked Mrs Irwin to try to climb onto the back seat but she was unable to move.
Instead they were told to recline the passenger seat back as far as possible and to find something warm to wrap the baby up in when it arrived to protect it from the frosty temperatures.
Although she knew the ambulance was nearby Mrs Irwin could not hold on so the operator told her to push at the next contraction.
As her husband prepared to make the delivery the ambulance came into sight.
Mrs Irwin said: “I just the flashing lights come over the hill.
“David just said hang on one more minute they are here.”
When the paramedics arrived they realised that there was no time to move her into the ambulance so delivered the baby in the car with Mr Irwin sat in the driver’s seat.
Their son Toby, who weighed 7lb and 1oz, arrived at about 8.30am on November 6 and Mr Irwin was able to cut the umbilical cord.
Mrs Irwin said: “In two quick pushes Toby flew out.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
“It was a cold morning so they had to wrap Toby up really quickly to make sure he didn't lose too much heat.
“There was so much steam because he was so hot and had come into the cold air.”
The ambulance then drove them to Watford General where mother and baby were checked over.
Mrs Irwin said: “It was baby number two so I wasn’t panicking as much. I could remember bits from last time. It was a bit of a surprise though.
“I was just thinking that he needed to come out. I couldn’t do anything about it.
“There was a bit of shell shock afterwards.”
Despite his dramatic entrance Toby is a happy and healthy baby boy.
He has settled into his home with his older brother Matthew who is two years old.
Mrs Irwin said: “Matthew loves Toby but he is jealous he got to ride in an ambulance.
“We regularly pass his place of birth on the M1 now.
“Most people can’t believe it.
“We’ve decided that we will have baby number three at home.”