A NEW mum has heaped praise on her husband after he helped to deliver their baby in the car park of a nature reserve.

Andrew and Sara Still were driving to the maternity unit at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital when the latest addition to the family decided to make an early arrival.

Realising they wouldn’t make it to the RAH in time for the birth, Andrew stopped the car at the nearest available place – the RSPB nature reserve, in Lochwinnoch – just as 31-year-old Sara went into labour.

Within minutes, tiny Eliza landed in her delighted dad’s outstretched arms.

Sara, who is vice-chair of business improvement organisation All About Barrhead, said: “We didn’t know whether to pull over or put the foot down and try and get to the hospital.

“We were just approaching the reserve’s car park and decided to pull in to decide but we were only there for 10 minutes when I knew the baby wasn’t going to wait.

“I quickly got myself comfortable and we contacted the ambulance service. They were insistent on a postcode for the location, which we didn’t know, so Andrew had to rush into the centre to get the details.

“I got myself onto the ground and propped myself against the side of the car. I was trained in hypnobirthing for my last baby, so I was fully focused.

“We were aware that the ambulance crew was still 10 minutes away. They said they would talk us through the delivery over the phone but, before they got the chance, Eliza’s head came out, then another push saw her full body follow.

“Andrew delivered the baby and it was a magical moment.

“The ambulance crew didn’t arrive until after she was born. One of the crew said she was disappointed, as she’d never delivered a baby before and thought this might be her chance.”

Sara, who is a civil servant and also helps in product procurement for Barrhead-based retailers Bluestone Gift Shops, said the unexpected drama presented 32-year-old Andrew with a unique chance he may otherwise have missed.

She added: “With all the Covid restrictions in place, some fathers have not had the opportunity to be present at the birth of their baby, so it was great for Andrew that not only was he there, but he delivered Eliza too.

“I don’t think now I would have changed a thing about how it happened. It was perfect in many ways. You had to just kick into the correct mindset.

“Andrew stayed very calm and got the opportunity to cut the cord too. It was probably less of a controlled environment but all the techniques I had learned just kicked in.”

Sara and Andrew returned to the RSPB centre last week with Eliza – who weighed in at 5lbs 14oz – and her three-year-old brother Ezra to thank staff for their help.

A spokesperson for the nature reserve said: “It was a wonderful surprise arrival.”

Andy Dunlop, of All About Barrhead, added: “We wish Sara and Andrew the best.

“We’re really not surprised how well they handled it – Sara is always very calm and collected, no matter the situation.”