Essex police woman gives birth on the toilet

Police officers may be used to coping with emergencies, but how many would be prepared to deal with one in their own bathroom?

Southend custody sergeant wife Penny McQuade was left shocked after her daughter’s sudden arrival meant she ended up giving birth on the toilet.

Penny began to have mild contractions during the evening, but didn’t prepare to leave for Southend Hospital until the early hours of the next morning when they were ten minutes apart.

Her husband, Castle Point Sgt Mark, called Penny’s mum Hazel to look after their two-year-old son Gabriel, but baby Elizabeth wasn’t prepared to wait.

As Hazel arrived, they heard screams from the bathroom and rushed to find Penny having constant contractions.

As she was feeling the urge to push, Mark called the hospital for assistance.

“The screams were terrible and I was panicking,” said Mark, 47.

“I thought ‘this baby is coming, there’s no one here, we have no equipment, no blankets, no warm water, no trained staff, nothing’.

“I was out of the room for seven seconds and I heard an almighty scream. I ran back in and the baby was on her lap.

“She had to push, and she and Hazel had to hold the baby’s head to stop her going into the toilet. I think the baby got a plonk on the head from the porcelain.

“It was a surreal out of body experience.

“I felt like I was floating. It was wonderful, weird and scary.”

As if her entrance wasn’t unusual enough, baby Elizabeth was also born in her amniotic sack, which only occurs in one in 80,000 births.

Penny, 30, added: “As we waited for the paramedics I just thought this is lovely. I have my mum and my husband here and Elizabeth was looking around. It was perfect.

“I am so lucky we weren’t somewhere else.

“I wasn’t due until Tuesday and still had two days left at work, so I could have been at the police station.”

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