Macey Clark sparked panic, tears and joy when she became the first baby to be born at Kent and Canterbury Hospital in more than two years.
Staff at the maternity unit –which closed to births two years ago – jumped into action when it became clear mum-to-be Antoinette Baddiley was in the final throes of labour.
Macey’s arrival was so unexpected that one midwife even helped deliver her in a pair of £200 Ugg boots.
It was the first birth at the hospital since the decision to stop deliveries at the unit was rubber-stamped in January 2012.
Antoinette, 30, of Dence Park, Herne Bay, had planned to have her baby at Margate’s QEQM Hospital, where she was due to be induced.
But the day before, she was given a surprise during a visit to the midwife team at Canterbury.
Antoinette, a nurse at Barton Veterinary Hospital, said her day of drama began when she woke up unexpectedly suffering from contractions.
She said: “I woke up and didn’t realise I was having contractions. My mum took me to Canterbury hospital and said we better start timing them.
“Once I got there they said they couldn’t deliver the baby there and phoned for an ambulance, but there just wasn’t enough time so they said I could make the decision to give birth at the hospital.
“At first I was a bit worried they wouldn’t have all the equipment they needed, but the midwives were absolutely fantastic.
“I think you could tell they really wanted me to have the baby in Canterbury.
“They were so excited when Macey was born we had about half a dozen gathered to take a look at her.
“I went for a check-up during my pregnancy and the midwife was literally in tears telling us there used to be babies all down this corridor.”
Dad Gary Clark, 31, who rushed from work as a mechanic in Whitstable to witness the birth, also praised the midwives’ impressive work with limited resources.
He said: “It all happened so quickly and they did so well with what they had.
“They didn’t have any uniforms and they kept having to rush off for towels and blankets.
“I remember one nurse saying she hoped Antoinette’s waters didn’t break because she was wearing her £200 Ugg boots.
“Everyone was just very pleased. I want to say a big thank you to everyone at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.”
Macey’s birth was such a shock to staff at the hospital that when her grandmother came to visit she struggled to get past a bemused security guard.
Gary explained: “My mum came to the hospital to visit and when she asked about the baby they said there hadn’t been a birth here in years.
“They didn’t have any uniforms and they kept having to rush off for towels and blankets" - mum Antoinette Baddiley
“In the end I got a phone call from a security guard as they just weren’t aware.”
Macey was born a healthy 9lb 4oz and is being looked after at home by her parents and four-year-old brother Taylor.
The hospital’s acting head of midwifery Abina Browne said: “The midwives at Canterbury were delighted to support Antoinette in the safe birth of her baby.
“Our midwives are skilled in supporting women in birth, regardless of the circumstances.”
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