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A surprise delivery in north Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 09:28 29 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:07 06 July 2010

A REYDON couple have spoken of the dramatic moment that the expectant father turned hero midwife to deliver and save the life of their first child who was born a month premature.

A REYDON couple have spoken of the dramatic moment that the expectant father turned hero midwife to deliver and save the life of their first child who was born a month premature.

Robert Mace and Maureen Hurst, of Hillfield Court, weren't expecting their baby until Christmas Eve, but on Monday, November 23, they were suddenly joined by a surprise dinner guest as Aliona dramatically introduced herself to the world.

Due to health concerns Maureen, known as Moe, was meant to be on a drip four hours before giving birth, but that evening Aliona decided that she wouldn't wait for all the carefully planned preparations, arriving after only 35 weeks pregnancy.

“Moe had only just got in from work at about 5.30pm and I had the dinner on the go,” said Robert, a head chef at the Crown Hotel in Southwold. “By 6pm, she started complaining about twinges and was in a bit of pain.”

At first, it was thought fiancée Moe, was experiencing false contractions, but within two hours it became apparent that this was not the case.

“I called 999 and was on the phone to them when she started to crown,” said Robert, 30. “I said I can see the head so they talked me through while the crew were on the way.”

Aliona was born in the embryo sac and wasn't breathing, meaning Robert had to act fast to save her life.

“I had to clear her airways and get her breathing,” he said. “The call centre crew were fantastic; they kept me calm and talked me through it. I've never been so scared in my life.”

Moe, 27, went into shock after delivering and doesn t remember a lot of that night, but knows that their daughter owes her life to Robert's actions.“I was so scared. She probably would have died if he wasn't here,”

she said.

They were rushed to the James Paget University Hospital's Neonatal unit, in Gorleston, where Aliona was weighed at just 3lb 7oz.

Over the next two weeks, the couple, due to wed at Southwold Church next year, visited their beloved daughter in the hospital every day, before she gained enough weight for them to take her home.

Today Aliona weighs 7lb 2oz but, although a celebrity around Reydon, still remains oblivious to all the drama she caused.

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