BABY Benjamin James had a dramatic entrance to the world – delivered in the back of a 4×4 in a lay-by off the Bromsgrove Highway in the snow.
And his grandmother Maureen Morrell has been hailed as the hero of the hour after not just successfully delivering him but also untangling his umbilical cord from around his neck.
The drama unfolded on March 1, when the entire region lay under a thick blanket.
Proud dad Damon James said his partner Beth Blundall, a nursery nurse, felt contractions and, as it was snowing heavily, they decided to leave their home near Tardebigge and take their son Oliver, who’ll be two in April, to Beth’s mum’s.
Damon’s grandfather Ian Morrell, who has a 4×4, picked them up from Webheath and they set off down the Bromsgrove Highway to get to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
“We had to pull into a lay-by and my hero nan there delivered Ben in the back of the car, all within around five minutes, while my grandad was on the phone to the emergency services,” said Damon, a quantity surveyor.
“When Benjamin’s head came out he had the cord around his neck but my nan sorted that out – and it was her first delivery.
“Beth did amazingly too, even wondering why I hadn’t managed to take a photo during the birth but I’d baled.
“Hats off to the paramedics who, due to the conditions, could not reach us for what seemed the longest 20 minutes of my life but then got everything checked out and got us across to Worcester safely where the three of us stayed the night,” he added.
Ben entered the world at 9.02pm and tipped the scales at 8lb 2oz.
“It’s still a bit of a blur and surreal – the 4×4 was a mess, and I’ve been contemplating the cost of a new coat for my nan,” said Damon.
The family were brought home the following day in Ian’s newly valeted 4×4, all none the worst for their adventure and in recognition of all that happened Benjamin has been given the middle name Ian.