As home to the former district hospital Cuckfield has been the birthplace for thousands of babies over the years, but little Evaline Rose Russell decided to be a little bit different!
Evaline made her dramatic entry into the world in the car park outside the Rose and Crown pub – delivered by dad Ben on the back seat of the couple’s Ford Fiesta!
“We thought we had plenty of time to get from our home in Horsham to the Princess Royal, and were even planning to stop at my parent’s house in Haywards Heath,” said Ben. ”But as we were driving along Whiteman’s Green my wife Kate suddenly told me to stop the car.”
Ben pulled into the Rose and Crown car park and phoned for an ambulance. “The operator could sense that things were developing quickly so she stayed on the line,” said Ben.”I’m glad she did because when she asked me to check my wife’s progress the head had appeared!
“She told me I would have to deliver the baby myself! It’s not every morning you get a crash course in delivering a baby!”
Five minutes later 7lb 11oz Evaline was snuggled in mum Kate’s arms. “Kate was absolutely brilliant,” said Ben. “She stayed so calm even though she had gone through the whole birth with no pain relief.”
Evaline is the third child for Ben and Kate – a little sister for Elliot, 7, and Eleanor, 3. The couple hadn’t finalised a middle name, but after such a dramatic arrival there was one obvious choice. “It just had to be Evaline Rose,” said Ben. “It’s a lovely name and will always have a special meaning.”
Owner of the Rose and Crown Nikki Kemp (pictured)and her son Sam were delighted to meet baby Evaline when the family visited a few days after the birth. Plans are already being made to hold the Christening party at the pub followed by birthday parties and other special occasions in the years to come.
Sam, who watched the drama unfold from his bedroom window, said: ”We were so relieved when Ben called us later in the day to tell us everything was fine and we are delighted that they named the baby Evaline Rose.”
Ben added: “As my wife joked to the ambulance men – ‘It’s a good job the pub wasn’t called The Nag’s Head!”