Siobhán Lawlor, 37, from Arranmore Island, Co Donegal, was delighted to be back in the comfort of her own home with baby Kielan Martin, who was clearly in a rush to introduce himself to the world.
The bouncing baby boy — who weighed in at 6lbs 6oz — was delivered by a coastguard paramedic in the corridor of Letterkenny General Hospital minutes after the chopper landed there on Friday night.
Siobhán had to be airlifted from Arranmore after going into labour — but she never expected such a speedy delivery.
“It was actually my mum’s birthday that day and we were going to have a barbecue — I wasn’t planning on going anywhere,” she said yesterday.
Siobhán started getting pains at around 6.30pm on Friday and rang the doctor on call at around 8pm.
Instead of a typical medical evacuation from the island involving the RNLI lifeboat, Siobhán found out she was being airlifted after receiving a call from Malin Head Coastguard.
“Kielan’s dad, Anthony, wasn’t there on the day, so he missed it all. He was gutted, but that’s just the way it goes. It can’t be helped.
“When I got onto the helicopter they told me it would take 12 to 15 minutes to get to the hospital and asked me if I could hold on. I said ‘yes’ but then things ramped up and they had to give me gas and air for the pain.”
When they touched down, Siobhán was rushed to the maternity unit but didn’t quite make it to the delivery ward — Irish Coast Guard winchman and paramedic Gary Robertson delivered her baby right there and then.