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Grandma helps deliver grandson in Watford Holiday Inn Express room
When most people stay in a hotel the only delivery they expect is room service.
Yet one grandma’s stay at a Holiday Inn Express in Watford took a dramatic turn when she had to help deliver her grandson after her daughter unexpectedly went into labour following a wedding party.
Jackie Collett, 54, helped her daughter Gemma Hooper safely give birth to baby Connor in room 508 of the hotel, in Bridle Path, with the guidance of a 999 operator.
Baby Connor, who now has Watford Holiday Inn Express on his birth certificate, was born just as paramedics made it through the door.
The other members of her family, who were unaware of the night’s drama, got the shock of their lives when they came down to breakfast the next morning to find mother and baby waiting for them.
The family had been at the wedding of relatives Alexandra and Dan Dudman, who had their reception at Bushey Country Club.
The drama started after Mrs Hooper, 29, returned to her hotel room and started to get contractions. She then alerted her mum, in who was staying in the room next door as well as her husband James.
Mrs Collett said: “She started to have repeated pains so we called the Watford maternity unit but were getting no answer so my son-in-law called 999. He passed the phone to me and the operator kept me so calm, he was wonderful.
“Gemma was also so calm, she kept me calm. I was surrounded by calm people. After calling them, that is when she said she wanted to push and he was out within 15 minutes.
“As he was born the paramedics walked through the door. It was wonderful to see them as I knew she was in safe hands.”
The paramedics then took over as the umbilical cord was wrapped around baby Connor’s neck.
Mrs Collett, from Walthamstow, said: “I told Gemma she had a little boy. She is not much of a drama queen, I was extremely proud of her.
“I then went into aftershock, but it was a beautiful feeling. I can’t put it into words. It was overwhelming. I was just proud.”
After he was born Mrs Hooper’s other son, Ben, two, who had been taken into the room next door when she went into labour, was brought in to meet his new brother.
Mrs Collett said: “I said this is your brother and Ben’s first words were ‘Nan, he doesn’t talk’.”
After paramedics treated Mrs Hooper she was then taken to Watford General Hospital where she and her baby were checked out. Connor was born a healthy 8lbs7oz.
Following the check-up she and Connor got cab to hotel and were back in time to surprise their other relatives at breakfast.
Mrs Collett added: “They were all screaming. They got on their phones telling the others to come down as they were due to get the shock of their lives.”
The newly-expanded Hooper family were allowed to have a later check out at the hotel before making their way home to Chelmsford in Essex.
This week Mrs Hooper said Connor was doing well since his birth on Sunday September 16, and paid tribute to her mum for the role she played in her untimely labour.
She said: “Having my mum there made it a lot easier as I trust her 100 per cent. Not only is she my mum but my best friend too.
“She’s amazing and we don't know what we would do without her. We all love her to bits.”