Tiny Monty Frank Whittaker arrived in the world in a very down to earth way...quite literally.
For the tot was born on the grass verge outside his home in Burnley’s Montgomery Grove at 7am on Bank Holiday Monday.
His shocked mum, Katie Guest, had only been in labour for an hour when she realised her son was ready to make his entrance into the world as she stood on the grassed banking area just a few yards from her front door.
Katie, who is 28, said: “I just felt I had to push and then the baby’s head came out and then he just landed on the grass.
“It was all a bit surreal and I still can’t quite believe how it happened.”
The drama unfolded as Katie woke up and realised she was going into labour at around 6am. But as the contractions were not too painful she did not think there was any reason to panic or rush.
Katie’s partner, Chris Whittaker (29) said: “As the pains started to get stronger we rang the hospital and they told us to come up.
“They said they would probably check Katie over and send her home as she was six days early.”
But when Chris’s sister, Claire Whittaker, arrived from her home across the road to take care of the couple’s daughter Tilly, who is seven, while they prepared to drive to hospital, the contractions increased and the drama began.
Claire (32) a manager at Oddie’s in Burnley, said: “We knew that we had to move quickly so we went outside to get Katie in the car but as she tried to get in she said it was too late and the baby was coming.
“Chris rang 999 and after hearing what was happening the operator said for us to be ready to do this ourselves.”
Within minutes Monty had made his grand entrance and, as Claire looked after Katie, Chris had to take the lace from his shoe to tie around the umbilical cord.
Chris, an engineer at In 2 Plastics in Burnley’s Accrington Road, said: “Monty had landed on the grass and all three of us just stared at him at first.
"Poor Katie was still standing and we were stood behind her.
“Monty didn’t cry for about a minute and he looked a bit blue.”
By then, Chris and Claire’s mum, Diane Waite, who also lives on Montgomery Grove, was on the scene after Claire sent Tilly for her.
Diane, who is 54 and works as a credit manager, said: “I wondered what on earth was happening as Tilly was banging on the door shouting “grandma, the baby is coming.”
Diane rushed out and took over listening to the instructions on the phone from the 999 operator who stayed with the family until an ambulance arrived.
By then several neighbours had turned out with towels, blankets and offers of help after hearing the commotion.
Chris said: “We are really grateful for the help they gave us.
“We have only recently moved here and haven’t met many of our neighbours yet so what a dramatic way for us to introduce ourselves.”
Mum and baby were taken for a check up at Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre at Burnley General Hospital where Monty, who shares his birthday with his uncle, Anthony Bolton, who is Claire’s partner, weighed in at a healthy seven pounds and 13-and-a-half-ounces.
They were both given a clean bill of health and allowed home after a few hours.
Katie said: “He is absolutely beautiful, we are thrilled with him, our family is complete now.”
The couple decided that the most fitting name for their little soldier had to be Monty considering where he was born. And his middle name is after Chris’ grandfather who was called Frank.
And to make it extra special Chris’ grandfather also had the honour of meeting Field Marshal Montgomery during World War Two when he presented him with the military medal for bravery.