A Meath dad unexpectedly delivered his new baby in his own sitting room last week, while his four year old was adorably shouting 'Be Brave Mammy' through the door, writes Louise Walsh.
Dean Reilly (37) had to turn midwife very fast when his wife Michelle (38) developed niggly pains in the house last Saturday - on the due date of their fourth child.
Although the contractions were ten minutes apart, the couple decided to go into the hospital as Michelle's previous labours had progressed rapidly.
Baby Ella, though, obviously did not like the idea of going out in the cold and decided to appear instead, at their home in Kilmurray, Trim just 20 minutes after the ambulance had been called.
"Michelle had been having little pains throughout the day and thought the baby may make an appearance but the contractions were inconsistent so she knew there was nothing to panic about," said Dean.
"However that evening Michelle thought it would be better to go into the hospital so I rang my mother to come up and look after our other children at about 8.30pm. But Michelle's pain level changed dramatically and I knew I had to ring an ambulance fast, going on the basis of the last three labours.
"I rang 999 and was told to get a blanket, towels and shoelaces to tie the umbilical chord. Michelle's waters broke the minute she went back into the sitting room.
"The man on the phone, Hugh, I don't know his surname, was fantastic and talked me through it all.
"On instructions, I checked to see if the baby had crowned and as soon as I told Hugh I couldn't see anything, the baby's head appeared.
"Thankfully Michelle knew what she was doing and when to push. I was holding the head and seconds later, my daughter was born at 10.10pm. I gave her a little rub and she started crying. We were just looking at each other in shock.
"It was the most amazing experience."
The ambulance arrived from Mullingar, Co Westmeath 15 minutes later and brought Michelle and baby Ella to the Coombe Hospital in Dublin to be checked out. Both are back home and doing well.
While it was all happening downstairs, their three year old Kyle remained sound asleep upstairs but their oldest son DJ (7) and excited daughter Fia (4) had heard the commotion and sneaked downstairs.
"Fia came downstairs and we could hear her outside the door shouting 'Be brave Mammy. She was convinced all along it was going to be a girl and chose the name Ella"
"She did want Star and Sunshine as the baby's middle names but we drew the line there, instead naming her Ella Maureen after my gran who passed away earlier this year," he said.