A PLUMBER has delivered his wife’s baby - on the bathroom floor at their York home.

Jonathan Bell is more used to fixing leaking taps and replacing washers in bathrooms, but when his wife Sarah went into rapid labour, he had no choice but to wash his hands and turn midwife.

Sarah, 37, of Heworth, said he had called for an ambulance but their baby, Sophia, just wasn’t going to wait for the crew to arrive, and so the 999 operator started giving Jonathan instructions on what to do to ensure a safe delivery.

By the time paramedics arrived, just over 10 minutes after being called, Sophia had just been born.

The paramedics cut the cord, and then took mother and baby to be checked over in hospital, where all was well, with a fit and healthy Sophia weighing in at 8lbs, 1oz.

Sarah said Sophia, who has a two-year-old brother Felix, had been due to arrive last Thursday but was born a day earlier.

She said Jonathan, whose father Colin is also a York plumber, had been at work at the University of York during the day, when she had started feeling stomach pains.

“I thought it could be ages yet and it was too soon to go to the hospital,” said Sarah, who works at Ware & Kay solicitors in York.

“When he came home, I said it was time to go to the hospital, and we rang for my mum to come round to look after Felix.

“I said I’d just go to the loo before we went to the hospital, and then when I was in the bathroom I realised there wouldn’t be time to get there.

“Jonathan rang 999 at 5.08 pm and she was born at 5.18pm. His hands were still dirty from work so he started by giving them a good wash. The 999 operator was telling him what to do. I think the paramedics got here at 5.19.”

Sarah said Felix’s birth had been quite a quick delivery, and she had been warned that Sophia could arrive even more quickly, but hadn’t realised just how fast she might be born.

Jonathan, 38, said: “We were just really lucky that we had a straightforward delivery and no complications.

“I was really glad of the help from the 999 operator, and was really relieved when she was born and I looked up to see the paramedics there. I think I had reached the limits of what I could do, as she was still attached to Sarah by the cord.”

He added that when he came downstairs with Sophia, Felix was more interested in the flashing lights of the ambulances outside than his new sister!