Mum recalls terrifying premature home birth of baby son with ‘blue skin’

A mum has recalled the terrifying moment she gave birth to a baby with 'blue skin' in the middle of the night while in bed.

Amy Cotterell was 36 weeks into her pregnancy when she started screaming in agony as her contractions began getting closer and closer.

Moments earlier, she had been in the toilet at her home in Patchway, Bristol, when her waters unexpectedly broke.

Her frantic husband, Aaron, called emergency services but the call operator feared he would have to perform a DIY delivery using a safety pin and shoelace, reports Bristol Live.

Paramedics managed to arrive just before the couple's baby boy did.

However he was breech, wasn’t breathing properly or crying, and was a worrying colour.

Everything descended into panic but thanks to the actions of hero paramedic Ralph Whitby, the tot – named Odin – survived.

Mum Amy said: “When Odin was born, he was very unwell, and needed urgent medical care.

“Odin wasn’t breathing properly or crying, and he had blue skin. So it was a bit of a panic. But Ralph saved him.

“If it wasn’t for Ralph our son wouldn’t be here today. No words will ever be enough to express our thanks. Ralph is our hero."

Amy, Aaron, Odin and big sister Gracie were recently reunited with Ralph and his team in much more relaxed circumstances – as the family visited Bristol Ambulance Station to say thank you.

The birth was so traumatic that Amy suffered from PTSD, and kept having flashbacks to those moments.

She said she was worried about meeting the ambulance crew again, but said she had to do it to say thank you.

The drama began to unfold after midnight and into the early hours of December 30, 2017.

A crew, led by Ralph and including paramedic Stuart Dando and emergency care assistant Agatha Child, arrived and realised Odin was breech and coming out bottom first.

He did, and weighed a healthy 7lb 5oz, but was not in a good way.

Babies are usually born head-first, and a breech presentation can be risky for mother and baby.

“Breech births usually take place in hospital as a c-section (caesarean delivery). But Odin had other ideas,” said Amy.

“It wasn’t a planned home birth, and I thought he had been born normally until Ralph said he was breech,” she added.

Amy and Odin were rushed to hospital after the complex delivery, where he was kept in intensive care for 12 days, before being allowed home with his mum.

Amy admits it's been hard to put such a traumatic birth behind her.

She added: “I’ve been nervous but excited about meeting the paramedics, because of how the birth affected me.

“Thankfully Odin has settled down, and is doing really well now."

Reflecting on that night, Ralph said he had literally just been on a course so knew exactly what to do.

“Two weeks beforehand I did the PROMPT (Practical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training) maternity course, which meant the delivery went more smoothly than it could have done,” he said.

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