THE last thing Annie Glasspool was expecting was to give birth to her second child on the kitchen floor of her home.

Katie Glasspool made a dramatic entrance to the world, with a less than text book arrival providing a challenge for the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) crew of Ian Nattrass, Nicola Lowes and Martin Heath.

Mrs Glasspool, 28, who had been having contractions for 11 days prior to the birth, and her husband Harry thought they might have to deliver their baby themselves, with only the assistance of 999 health advisor Michelle Ferguson, who was on the phone.

The Northern Echo:

Paramedic Ian Nattrass and 999 health advisor Michelle Ferguson meeting baby Katie and mum Annie Glasspool

Mrs Glasspool, a sports coach at Durham University, said: "I rang the hospital and they said to take some paracetamol and wait an hour before coming in.

"Then after three contractions I was pushing – it just came out of nowhere."

But an ambulance crew arrived just in time to deliver Katie, who born on April 6, weighing 8lb 10, and was delivered in her amniotic sac intact, a rare occurrence which is estimated to happen only around six times a year nationally.

This week, the crew visited Katie at her home in Witton Gilbert to see how she is doing and for the couple, who are also parents to two-year-old James, to thank them.

Mrs Glasspool said: "She had a dramatic entrance to the world but she's very chilled now. It wasn't quite how I planned but it was so quick I would probably take it over a lot of pushing.

"I was so impressed by the ambulance crew. It struck me after that I didn't know what they did before and after but they were so good when they were here. They said it was complicated but they didn't convey any of that to me."

The Northern Echo:

Parents Harry and Annie Glasspool and baby Katie meeting the NEAS team of Martin Heath, Ian Nattrass, Michelle Ferguson and Nicola Lowes

She added: "I thought Harry was very calm. He's always chilled but I wasn't sure if that would extend to delivering his daughter on the kitchen floor but it seemed to."

Mr Glasspool, 28, a business analyst, said: "I was mostly just hoping the ambulance would arrive before Katie did. There wasn't much else going through my mind so when they came in it was a big relief."

It was the first time Ms Lowes, who has worked for NEAS for about five years, had delivered a baby.

She said: "I was quite overwhelmed by it all but it was lush. I've wanted to do it since I started. I've been to a lot of labours but it's always been getting them into an ambulance and taking them to hospital."

She added: "At one point we were concerned it wasn't progressing as quickly as we thought. When we got her out we noticed she was still in her sac and she was a bit purple. We had to cut through the sac with the scissors we use to cut the cord. When she started crying it was beautiful – we were starting to get a bit nervous."

The Northern Echo:

Katie Glasspool, who made a dramatic entrance to the world

Mr Nattrass, a paramedic of eight years, said: "The births I've had have always been completely straight forward so this is the first time it started deviating from the norm. It's really rare for them to be born in their sacs so it's something that isn't even in our training."

Ms Ferguson said: "I usually never get to find out what happens after the ambulance arrives and this is the first time I've met a patient in 17 years so it's really nice."