Kildare couple's journey to get to maternity hospital in the middle of Storm Emma
A Kildare couple have told of their nail-biting journey as they tried to make it to the hospital in the middle of Storm Emma.
Sinead Carroll and Jimmy Coyne welcomed their first child, little Eala Belle, in the middle of the extreme weather last week - with some help from the gardaí and paramedics.
The new mum recalled how she was three days overdue when her water broke on Thursday evening...in the middle of the red weather warning.
Understandably, as Sinead described, things turned into "a bit of panic station".
She continued on The Pat Kenny Show on Wednesday:
"We knew how desperate the weather was outside. We knew that we couldn’t get cars out.
"We had called The Coombe first. There was meconium in the waters so I knew I had to get into their quickly, as it’s more urgent than if your waters just broken normally.
"They said that we basically had to find our way in - if we knew anybody. So, we said we’d ring the ambulance."
Fortunately, she remembered seeing an alternative for emergencies during the storm.
"They called back and said that the ambulance had gotten stuck about a mile down the road - and then they had to send the fire brigade to free the ambulance.
"It was only because we had seen a Facebook post earlier that day that we knew the Naas gardai had a 4x4.
"So, we chanced that."
Sinead rang the gardaí, who told them that they would try and get another ambulance out to her.
And, if not, they would bring the 4x4 to come and get them.
"The two lads came out to us in their 4x4, but could only park in the outside driveway.
“We had to trudge through the snow, me and my bump and my dripping waters - we had to manage getting into a 4 x 4.
“In fairness to them, the Gardaí, they were fantastic and they drove all the bog roads in the snow drifts.
“There was no road, put it that way. [The gardai] were fantastic at driving and snow drifts that they were hitting were unreal.”
Jimmy was waiting for Sinead at the garda station in Naas. And, when the 4x4 finally got there, the ambulance arrived shortly after - sending the couple on another long journey.
“That was another long journey.
"It’s even worse when you’re stuck in the back of an ambulance - you can’t see what’s going on, but you can feel the skids and the pulling, slipping and sliding between contractions.”
Sinead added that the midwife who helped deliver her baby - named Katie - hadn't been home since Tuesday - and that lots of the staff members slept in the hospital through the storm.
Eala Belle was born on Friday around lunch time. Her mum said that they were "extremely grateful" to gardaí, paramedics and all of the staff at the Coombe for their assistance.