Woman gives birth at Edinburgh petrol station

The baby will be given the middle name "Cameron" after the place of his dramatic birth. Picture: ComplimentaryThe baby will be given the middle name "Cameron" after the place of his dramatic birth. Picture: Complimentary
The baby will be given the middle name "Cameron" after the place of his dramatic birth. Picture: Complimentary
A couple want to trace the “angel of mercy” who helped deliver their son in the back of a car outside a city petrol station.

Nicola McDowall gave birth at the Sainbury’s petrol station at Edinburgh’s Cameron Toll shopping centre after going into labour on Monday night.

In a “one in a million” chance, a community midwife was filling up her car at the same time and stepped up to help.

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Ms McDowall and her partner Julian Skinner are now looking forward to Christmas with their newborn son - whose middle name will be Cameron after the location of his dramatic birth.

Mother-of-three Ms McDowall was at home looking after sons Fraser, seven, and Arran, three, when she went into labour shortly before 9pm.

She phoned Mr Skinner, who was at a Christmas meal with friends, and he rushed back to their Newington home.

The pair jumped in their car and were on the way to the city’s Royal Infirmary when they were forced to pull over as the baby refused to wait.

Ms McDowall, 34, said: “We were on the way to hospital and in the back of the car I felt I had to push.

“I called the triage at the hospital and told them, and they basically said to stop the car wherever we were and get an ambulance.”

Mr Skinner, 44, said: “We were just starting to drive along and she was shouting out that she thought the baby was coming.

“She was on the phone to the hospital while we were on the way and the next thing I knew she was telling me to stop the car.

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“I decided to stop at the Cameron Toll shopping centre as I thought there would be more chance of getting someone there to help.

“I just jumped out of the car and flew into the petrol station and told the guy to get some help.

“I was pretty scared. The next thing I knew a guy came up to me and said he had someone who could help. A woman stepped forward and said she was a midwife, she was just getting some petrol, the chances are probably about one in a million.”

Ms McDowall said: “The next thing I knew a lady put her head in the car and said ‘I’m a community midwife’.

“She helped me to lie down in the back of the car and by this time the baby’s head was there.

“She helped deliver him and she really was an angel of mercy. I was pretty scared. I was not sure if the ambulance would get there in time.”

The healthy baby boy, who was due last Wednesday, was born at about 9.17pm, around two minutes before an ambulance arrived at the scene. Mother and baby were taken to hospital for checks and were able to return home today.

“Everything went well and he is doing absolutely fine, and so am I,” Ms McDowall said.

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The couple have not yet decided on a name for their son but said Cameron would be his middle name after his place of birth.

They now want to track down the midwife who helped deliver the baby.

“I did ask her name but with everything else that was going on I’ve no idea now,” Ms McDowall said.

Mr Skinner added: “We would like to find out who she is to say thank you. We did thank her at the time but she was off pretty quickly.

“It was just really lucky her being there.”

Anyone who knows the identity of the midwife can contact Mr Skinner at [email protected]

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