Baby in safe hands as father delivers new-born son on bathroom floor


Football agent Phil Korklin put his goalkeeping skills to good use when he was forced to deliver his baby son at the family home.

Mr Korklin became a makeshift midwife when his wife, Katie, unexpectedly went into labour and gave birth on the bathroom floor.

“I was in complete disbelief that it was happening,” Mr Korklin told the JC. “All I could think was, don’t drop him. Thankfully my goalkeeper training from back in the day came in handy. My coach always said I had good hands.”

When Mrs Korklin announced she was going into labour, last Friday, he told her she “should calm down, because the baby wasn’t coming for a few days”.

But after three hours of contractions, Mrs Korklin knew the baby's arrival was imminent, even though when she called the hospital, she was assured the baby was not on the way.

Mr Korklin said: “I told Katie I would get the car ready and we will go straight to the hospital, but she was adamant the baby was coming now and told me to call 999.

 “All of a sudden I kicked into action. I had the 999 operator on the phone giving me directions. I was in complete disbelief and denial that it was happening.

“All I could think about was that the responsibility was on me. If something went wrong I was going to be responsible for my son.”

Mr Korklin, who lives in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, with Katie and their three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Aimee, followed the operator’s instructions throughout the birth.

He lay towels on the bathroom floor and positioned himself underneath his wife, who was standing, and holding onto the bathroom sink for support.

Mr Korklin said: “I was describing what I could see to the operator and I saw the baby’s head at the opening of the cervix, I think.

“She told me to hold its head and be prepared for the next contraction to be the one where he came out. She said I should be careful because he could be quite slippery and not to drop him if I can help it.

“We were worried because our bathroom floor was hard. But Katie pushed and it was incredible.

“Thankfully my goalkeeper training from back in the day came very handy.”

After only five minutes of pushing, baby Archie Sidney Korklin arrived, with Mr Korklin guiding him safely into his arms.

"His head was already out, his whole body from his shoulders to his feet were still in the amniotic sac," Mr Korklin said, "I've read how special that can be but never thought I'd experience it first hand.

“Imagine, a bubble bursting in slow motion, the liquid disappearing within a split second in the most incredible fashion, I still can't really fathom it.

“At no point did I think ‘yuck’. It was just amazing.”

It was at that moment the 999 operator informed the couple that the ambulance had arrived outside their home.

Mr Korklin said: “I placed the baby on the towel directly below my wife and went to open the front door.”

The paramedics were able to make Mrs Korklin more comfortable, by laying her down in the hall, where Mr Korklin cut the umbilical cord.

He said: “We’d just had our carpets done two weeks before. Katie told me where to go to get the sheets and towels so we didn’t ruin them.

“And then I got to cut the cord. She really was amazingly calm.”

Mrs Korklin, who is on maternity leave from her job as marketing and communications manager for Jewish charity Shaare Zedek, said: “I wasn’t panicked.

“My husband is the kind of person who is good in a crisis so I didn’t want to worry.

“I feel really passionate about women feeling empowered and in control with their childbirth so that was really my focus.

“I think second time around it can be more nervous. But because we were at home, I actually think it helped. It was comforting, even though what was happening was totally unexpected.

“The only thing I worried about was him dropping the baby on the floor.”

Mrs Korklin is hoping to be discharged from hospital with baby Archie today. 

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