Royal couple Zara and Mike Tindall welcomed their third child on Sunday 21 March, a little boy named Lucas Philip Tindall, and his birth was such a surprise as their royal baby arrived at home in their bathroom.
Speaking on The Good, The Bad & The Rugby podcast, Mike said that Lucas: "Arrived very quickly. Didn’t make it to hospital. On the bathroom floor."
He told listeners: "So yeah, it was running to the gym, get a mat, get into the bathroom, get the mat on the floor, towels down, brace, brace, brace."
The proud father explained how his wife’s friend Dolly was with the couple during the labour and their midwife arrived just in time for Lucas' birth.
One mother who has been through a similar birth experience to Zara is Keren who also welcomed her third baby in her bathroom. Keren shares children Zac, 10, Finley, seven, and Isla, five, with her partner Simon.
Here, mum Keren exclusively tells HELLO! her birth story with her third baby Isla…
Labour starts at home
"My waters broke in the middle of the night with Isla, which woke me up. It was totally different from my other two labours, as my waters didn’t break until I was in the hospital after hours of contractions.
Labour with my first baby Zac started at 10pm and he was born 3.30pm the following day, so it was 17.5 hours long. My second baby Finn’s labour was only about three hours long.
I called the midwife at St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey and she said that third babies can take ages to come and to wait to go into hospital until my contractions were five minutes apart. But my contractions sped up very, very quickly and I could tell the baby was coming, so I got Simon to call an ambulance.
I’ve got friends who've had home births but I didn’t ever consider having one, as I wanted to be in a hospital in case there were complications and I needed any emergency medical intervention.
Waiting for the ambulance
The 999 operator kept Simon talking on the phone until the ambulance arrived and told him to open the front door, so they could come straight in when they got here. I remember our neighbour's cat snuck into our house and Simon was telling the 999 operator that the cat had come in. They must have wondered what he was on about but I think it was due to the panic.
I wasn’t scared as I was too in the zone and there was no stopping her arrival! I think I thought we’d just get through it as best we could.
At one point, little two-year-old Finn came of his room before the paramedics arrived asking what was happening but luckily he went back to sleep. Simon was quietly panicking.
Paramedics arrive for the birth
When the paramedics arrived they asked a few questions and tried to get me to go through to the bedroom. Simon went to go sort out some pillows or something on our bed so I could go through, but I was adamant I wasn’t moving or going to lie down on our bed and that she was coming right then… which she did! Simon was actually in our room sorting out the bed when she was born.
Isla was born four minutes after the ambulance arrived at our house, so luckily the paramedics were here for the birth. She was born an hour and a half after my waters broke.
There were three paramedics and only one of them had delivered a baby before. Only one of them could fit in the bathroom; the other two hung about on our small landing upstairs.
My parents meanwhile were racing up the A3 from an hour and a quarter away. I decided it would be a good idea to ring my mum to say the baby had already been born, so that she wouldn’t panic when they arrived to find an ambulance outside our house.
Getting checked in hospital
We then went to hospital in the ambulance just to get checked out and fortunately everything was fine. A huge coincidence is that Isla was 8lbs 4oz, exactly the same weight as Zara and Mike's baby Lucas! Isla and I stayed in for a few hours and came home early evening.
In a hospital birth, a midwife cleans away all the blood afterwards and you don’t really notice it. I think Simon was a bit traumatised by the scene that he faced when he opened the bathroom door at home! It had been shut since we’d gone to the hospital and he had to clean it all up when he popped back that morning.
I don’t often think about the fact that Isla was born in the bathroom but occasionally it pops into my mind when I’m cleaning my teeth in there, and it makes it feel a bit more special than your average bathroom.
When Isla was about three I told her that she was born in the bathroom. She said, 'Oh, so I was born and then you gave me a bath straight after.'