A BARRY family welcomed their new son into the world in double quick time, after he couldn't wait for hospital - and made his grand entrance at the bottom of the stairs in the family home!
Daniel Emrys Julian Wyn Katchi, who had been due to be born at Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales on December 13, decided to keep his family waiting for eight days - before making a very swift entrance into the Woodland Road household on December 21, in time for a family Christmas!
And three senior Welsh Ambulance Service personnel, who were volunteering to help out on one of the busiest days of the year, and an Ambulance Service call-taker were on hand to help with a safe delivery.
Mum Bernadette, dad Stephen and their five-year-old son Robert had earlier been enjoying a coffee at Marco's Café - followed by fish and chips - before dealing with their unusual delivery.
Qualified nanny Bernadette, who had suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum and a pelvic displacement during pregnancy, said she had made a throw-away comment in jest while at Barry Island.
The 39-year-old said: "One of the guys asked 'how far gone are you? Don't give birth here!' - and I said to him 'don't you know how long it takes to give birth?'!"
But when her contractions began rapidly increasing at home later on, the couple dialled 999 and prepared for action - while five-year-old Robert covered his ears, pulled his Santa hat over his eyes, and sat in front of CBeebies!
Software engineer Stephen, 41, said: "Bernadette was kneeling at the bottom of the stairs in great pain.
"I was advised by the hospital that we wouldn’t make it in time if I went by car.
"The Welsh Ambulance Service call-taker - Ian Powell - told me that the ambulance was on its way, but warned me that there was a chance I might have to deliver the baby myself."
Bernadette took to what she found was the most comfortable place and Stephen leapfrogged her to gather a blanket from the bed and half a dozen towels - preparing to use 'expert' knowledge he had gathered from watching medical programmes on TV.
"I just found adrenaline took over," he said.
"I've seen things on TV, and I was there when Robert was born. If I had to, I could do it." Paramedics Richard Lee and Robin Petterson turned up just under seven minutes later.
"The ambulance call-taker was fantastic and gave me lots of advice about what do," added Stephen.
"Within 15 minutes of the paramedics' arrival, our baby son was born with their help at the bottom of the stairs as my wife was in too much pain to be moved elsewhere.
"We had a bit of a scare as the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck several times, but one of the paramedics calmly unwrapped it, and the baby was fine.
"Baby went on to his mother’s chest, I cut the cord, and our new son was born!"
He added: "They looked after her then for the final stage of the delivery as I looked after our new baby, and then took her to hospital about an hour later."
Welsh Ambulance Service’s head of service for the Cardiff and Vale area, Bob Tooby, was out assisting the ambulance crew on the day - which is known as 'Bleak Friday'.
"It is known as one of the busiest days of the year for the Welsh Ambulance Service, mainly due to an epidemic of office parties and last minute wishes to end the year with a bonding session that can often mean drinking far more than one would normally consume," he said.
"None of us knew that the shift would start with a complicated birth at the foot of a narrow stairway.
"Co-ordination was key. This included Richard Lee (clinical head of service) delivering the baby with the cord wrapped several times around the baby’s throat, through to Robin Petterson (clinical team leader) co-ordinating the medical equipment and hospital arrangements.
"And it extended to myself holding the bin bags for the placenta, and babysitting for Stephen and Bernadette’s young son Robert, who was very frightened every time he heard his mother scream.
"This was a team effort that was later supported by a very welcome midwife who travelled with the ambulance staff to hospital."
Daniel was born at 5.50pm - give or take ten minutes - weighing 7lb 1oz.
And the family said they had experienced one of their best Christmases ever - eating fish, chips and vegetarian sausages - with traditional festivity plans having gone awry.
Bernadette and Stephen thanked the Welsh Ambulance Service staff, family friend Alina Davies, and Gillian McCabe and her staff at the Women's Health Unit for their support throughout.
Stephen added: "I would like to say a big thank you to them, and mum and baby are now doing fine."