WHEN Natalie Jones went into labour on snowy Tuesday the Wrexham mum had no idea how close a call the birth would be.
Natalie, a newly-qualified midwife herself, got to hospital in the nick of time, giving birth to baby Henry Alf just 17 minutes later.
Natalie, who lives on Benjamin Road, Wrexham, with husband Stephen and their five-year-old daughter Maisy, had originally planned a home birth.
But the snowy weather meant the community midwife was unable to get to her address so Natalie had to go to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital for the birth.
She started with labour pains at about 11pm on Tuesday and by 1.30am left with Stephen to go to the hospital but the Arctic conditions meant the car door was frozen and Stephen had to dig to get the car out of the drive.
“We had to drive very slowly because of the snow,” said Natalie, 26.
“We got to hospital at 2am and Henry was born weighing 7lbs 1oz at 2.17am.
“The midwife said that if it had been 10 minutes later I could have been giving birth in the car.
“I think my husband would have passed out!”
Despite the change of plan the birth went well and Natalie was home again after 4am.
“I do keep dwelling now and thinking how my husband could have had to deliver in the car,” she said.
Speaking about how well the birth went, Natalie said she felt “lucky” she got to hospital in time.
“I think it was brilliant because I had the delivery I wanted,” she said. “The midwives were great and made me feel really at home.”
Stephen, who was 30 on Christmas Day, said: “Going to the hospital, we didn’t think it would happen so quickly.
“I was a bit nervous before with all the snow because the side roads did not have grit on them and we’re on a bit of a slope.
“It all happened so quickly but worked out well in the end.”
Henry was due on New Year’s Day and Natalie, who qualified as a midwife in September and works at the Maelor, had always planned the home birth.
She said she did “panic” when she learned the community midwife would be unable to get to her, but said the labour pains were not too strong so she did not worry too much.
Natalie praised her colleagues because they were short staffed because of the weather conditions.
Some dedicated midwives at the Maelor walked to work rather than using their vehicles and one even got a ride on a tractor to ensure they were there for the births.
Altogether six babies were born on the maternity ward overnight on Tuesday.
Dale Hughes, who has been a midwife at Wrexham for nearly 26 years, trekked through the snow from Mayville Avenue, Llay.
Another midwife Jean Owen, from Llay, managed to get to work on a tractor.
Dale said: “I was due to start work at 8.45pm and by 6pm I decided I was going to walk.
“There was only room for one on the tractor but I was quite happy walking.
“I was determined to get there.
“My son was saying ‘You’re not walking to work are you?’ and I said that you can’t stop babies coming.
“It was a very busy night.”
Dale, who said it had been many years since he witnessed such bad weather, spent the night working on the post-natal and anti-natal wards.
“It gives you a lot of job satisfaction during every shift,” she added.