Woman gives birth to baby on petrol station forecourt amid fuel crisis

A mum gave birth at a "pitch black" petrol station with her midwife forced to use a torch to see the baby.

Stephanie Richardson welcomed her youngest child Lucy into the world from the back of a pick-up truck at 4:30am on Friday.

It was while a Jet forecourt in County Durham was closed that finally some good news came from a petrol station during the current fuel crisis.

Stephanie was due to be induced four hours later when she went into labour and hoped to make it to hospital in time, but baby Lucy was not hanging about.

Fortunately for Stephanie and partner Matthew Varley, their friend and midwife was on hand to ensure their third child arrived safely weighing a healthy 6lb 15oz, the Chronicle reports.

Stephanie, 29, said: "I'm doing alright now after the drama of it all. It's just crazy how something like that can happen at the side of the road.

"I woke up in the middle of the night with pain and I knew it was time.

"I phoned the midwife who was booked in to deliver my baby at 8am in the morning, and I said you need to come over the baby's here.

"We were going to the hospital with my partner driving, the midwife in the front and me on all fours in the back of our pick-up. There's no gas and air in the back of a truck!

"It actually closes so it was pitch black. The midwife said to ring 999 but within seconds the baby was on the forecourt of the garage."

Thankfully, the midwife was able to deliver Lucy safely by torchlight, and the new arrival was taken to hospital.

Stephanie paid tribute to both her midwife and Matthew for their part in bringing Lucy into the world.

She continued: "I'm just very lucky to have a friend who has a very experienced midwife. She is renowned in the area, she's delivered everybody's baby!

"I think we would have been a lot more scared – she was very calm. She's delivered babies in the hospital car park before, but never in a petrol station!

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"Anything could've happened. Looking back I should have stayed at home, but it was half three in the morning and she was born just after 4.30. She quite literally shot into the world."

Lucy is now at home with her brother Jake and five-year-old sister Alice.

Stephanie added: "I think after that, I think three is enough – three is a nice number, you can fit three kids in a car!"

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