The last thing an Inverness man expected when he went to live with his partner was help with the birth of his daughter next to the A9.
Andy MacKay, who is 34 and works as a delivery driver for Highland Industrial Supplies, had traveled to see Amanda Jolly (35) at her home in Invergordon. He had just finished his work and was planning to stay at his girlfriend’s house for the weekend, but she started feeling pain.
Events unfolded quickly from there on February 5, with the new family happy to share their story now that they’ve had a chance to catch their breath.
“It really started around one in the morning,” Mr. MacKay said. “Amanda phoned Ward 10 at Raigmore Hospital and they said ‘come in and we’ll check you’.”
The couple started driving to Inverness around 1.30am but just before they reached Cromarty Bridge, Mrs Jolly’s waters broke.
Mr MacKay said he called 999 at the time and was asked by the operator if there was somewhere they could park and meet the ambulance which was now on the way.
The operator would stay on the line and talk to Mr. MacKay about what to do while waiting for him to arrive.
Mr MacKay said that at this point in their journey, Tore was the obvious place to pick up the A9 as he knew there was a bus stop there which had space for his own vehicle and the ambulance.
“The triple nine girl on the phone was good at keeping me calm,” he said.
“I was trying to hide that I was freaking out so Amanda wouldn’t freak out so much.
“I was freaking out – but we were focused on Amanda.”
He said overall the birth itself was pretty straightforward, except for one moment when the baby seemed stuck.
“That’s when the head first came out, but it was fine,” he said.
Mr MacKay said he knew everything was fine when he first heard his baby girl cry.
“The kid was always on the phone telling me what to do with the baby – wipe her face and hold her close to mom,” he said.
“I was shocked and moved.
“It seemed longer, but the ambulance arrived 30 seconds after the baby was born.”
A total of two ambulances, as well as four paramedics, were dispatched to the scene.
Mr MacKay said his baby, whom he and Ms Jolly named Faith, was doing well despite her unconventional arrival.
“The baby is healthy and doing well,” he said. “Mom is fine and she’s just recovering from the pain now.”
Mr MacKay’s mother and Faith’s grandmother Jane MacKay said she was completely distraught that her son gave birth to his baby in his car.
“How scary it must have been for both of them,” she said.
“Andy never saw a baby born, let alone the delivery of his own, but he remained calm until the ambulance arrived – just when she was born and, thankfully, baby, dad and mom are fine.”