JESS Hodge knew the birth of child number two would be a quicker affair than the first one, but she had never planned for a home birth. Yet on May 28 Mrs Hodge and her husband Geoff were left with no other option but to deliver baby William on the bathroom floor of their Kurri Kurri home.
"I thought because I had been through it before I would know what to expect, but he just came really quickly," she said.
Mrs Hodge had planned to give birth at Maitland Hospital. She woke about 2am that day feeling "a bit off" but went back to sleep. About 3am she woke again, this time with cramps, but having spent more than 20 hours in labour with her first child, she decided not to rush to the hospital.
"All of a sudden it just started to ramp up and I had one contraction that gave me the urge to push."
Her husband managed to get her to the bathroom before the couple realised it was too late to go any further, the baby was on its way.
"I looked down and I said 'ah I think that's a head'. Then another contraction came and we knew it was definitely a head," she laughed.
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Mr Hodge got his wife to the ground and called for an ambulance. He was put through to NSW Ambulance control centre operator Bec Giddins. With a background in both nursing and student midwifery, Ms Giddins knew exactly how to guide this couple through their accidental home birth.
"This is the third baby I have helped deliver," she said.
"I seem to get the baby calls which is really nice, especially in this line of work."
Ms Giddins kept the pair calm and explained step-by-step how to bring baby William into the world. She then helped dad do all the necessary checks to make sure baby and mother were well, before paramedics arrived on scene.
"Even though we didn't know what we were doing, she made us feel like we did," Mrs Hodge said.
On Friday the couple got to meet the woman behind the phone.
"It was so nice to be able to thank her," Mrs Hodge said.
"Without what she did it might not have been as smooth and easy."
The meeting was just as special for Ms Giddins.
"I had an instant connection with them because we had gone through something so personal together," she said.
"I felt like part of the family."
She said people often did not realise that the call operators have specialised training in order o provide initial assistance over the phone.
"We are trained to give life-saving instructions, so if you are on the phone to emergency services be sure to listen," she said.
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