A Billingshurst couple are thanking friends and family for getting them to the hospital in the snow for the safe arrival of their son.
Abi Smith of Broomfield Drive was 34 weeks’ pregnant with her second child when the snow fell last month, but she and husband Chris did not expect labour to start six weeks early - on the eve of their daughter’s third birthday.
Abi, 30, said: “Earlier, we had joked about how lucky we were not to have had to make a mad dash to St Richard’s in all the snow.
“I managed to put Lily to bed at about 7pm and I was in denial that I was possibly going into labour.
“I had all her presents to wrap up and we were geared up for an evening blowing up balloons.”
But their second child was on its way and if it weren’t for their friend Craig Waller, they may never have got to hospital.
Chris, 31, said: “Some people had cleared their drives, but the close was a death trap. There wasn’t any movement of cars.”
Abi added: “Craig has a Toyota 4x4 and came straight over. We rang my mum who’s a former midwife and my sister is a nurse and they gave advice.”
Having arrived safely at hospital, Henry James was born weighing five pounds at 11.50pm on January 18, meaning the children’s birthdays are just a day apart.
His sister Lily, three, thought she’d been given a real life baby for her birthday and has different ideas about his name. She said: “I want Henry to be Tarzan.”
Although baby Henry was a good weight, he and Abi had to stay in the Special Care Baby Unit St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester for ten days to stabilise his temperature, breathing and feeding.
Abi said: “They were just amazing. The staff couldn’t have been more friendly. I am not sure I could speak more highly of them. Nothing was too much trouble for them. I had him at ten to midnight and at three in the morning I was able to go and see him for the first time. He was being fed through a tube to start with and then I started expressing. It was just a case of getting him strong. We came home after ten days. The level of care and attention we had has just been incredible. ”