Home shopping expert makes special delivery

By Jessica Elgot, February 3, 2011
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Gary Rockman holds his new-born son

Gary Rockman holds his new-born son

A TV jewellery expert became an emergency midwife when his wife gave birth to a boy in their Finchley living room after a labour of only two hours.

Gary Rockman, 32, helped Melissa, 38, deliver their son early last Friday morning while their other child, two-year-old Sonny, slept undisturbed upstairs.

"We were due to have a water birth at the Whittington Hospital," Mr Rockman explained. "Our other son was born that way and it was great. We didn't want anything clinical and she had a normal labour of around 12 hours. But this time she was saying it was much more painful, more quickly - and she has a very high pain threshold. She said to me: 'I think the baby's coming.' So I called an ambulance and helped her down the stairs into the lounge."

Mr Rockman - who runs a Mill Hill jewellery shop and is a resident gemologist for the QVC shopping channel - was squeamish about his unexpected duties.

"On the phone they were telling me exactly what to do to help deliver the baby. I was in shock. I've never done anything medical in my life. My wife is a dentist, so at least she had some medical experience.

"We started to see his head and it was blue. I had no idea what that meant and I was terrified something was wrong. But I caught him as he came out and he started crying. That was such a relief."

When medical help did arrive, the Rockmans' living room became a makeshift hospital. "There were two ambulances, midwives and my mum arrived to look after my other son - who slept through the whole thing. She was making everyone cups of tea. And there I am, in the middle, holding my baby.

"My wife was the calmest of all of us throughout."

The couple did go to hospital to have their son checked over but there were no problems.

Mr Rockman, a Muswell Hill Synagogue member, said they were still discussing names but the boy would be named after his grandfather.

"It makes it very, very special that I was the one to deliver him. I design my own jewellery and I've designed my wife a special diamond pendant which I gave to her after the birth. She really deserves it."

    Last updated: 2:39pm, February 3 2011