STANDSTILL A34 traffic forced a first-time mum to give birth in the back of her car as her husband delivered their baby - less than a mile from the hospital.

Newborn baby Henry Fowler had a dramatic welcome to the world as he surprised first-time parents Thom and Jenny on Friday.

The pair, from Milton near Abingdon, had been back and forth from the John Radcliffe Hospital twice already that day, after Mrs Fowler’s waters broke at 3.20am.

But after multiple checks were told Jenny ‘wasn’t in established labour’ and to go home and rest.

The couple were told ‘nothing would happen anytime soon’ and there wasn’t the bed space - but Henry had other ideas.

Oxford Mail:

Mrs Fowler, 26, said: “We ended up coming home and got back about 11am. By 12.50pm Henry was born in the back of our car.

“We left about home about 12.15pm but traffic on the A34 was at a standstill and by the time we realised there was no way to turn round - all we could do was carry on.”

As Mrs Fowler’s contractions increased, Mr Fowler said it was the ‘most stressful journey of his life’

with a congested A34 and roadworks through Oxford proving difficult to pass in a hurry.

The 25-year-old, who is shop manager at Oxford Wine Company, said: “Up to the last few minutes I was in denial thinking there was no way the baby was coming. After everything we had been told, we couldn’t believe our baby was on its way.

“It wasn’t until Jenny was screaming ‘it’s coming’ and I turned round and could see the head that everything went instantly into autopilot.”

Mrs Fowler called 999 once on Headington Road as the pair continued their mission to the hospital, which was only minutes away.

But just 0.7miles from the John Radcliffe entrance, at the junction of Headley Way and Headington Road, Mr Fowler was forced to mount the kerb, pull over and deliver his son in the back of their Citroen C3.

He said: “Like any adrenaline-filled situation it is a bit of a blur, but also felt like it was happening in slow motion.

“Jumping out the car I threw open the back door and instinct just kicked in.

“All you are thinking is this is your baby you’ve been waiting for nine months to come along and you are already infatuated with him, you are never going to let any harm come to him. Love just takes over and you do what you need to do.”

As Mrs Fowler pushed in the back of the car, Mr Fowler said he was just in time to first hold Henry’s head before another push from mum and he was holding his newborn son.

After wrapping baby Henry in a hoodie, Mr Fowler said he waited for a minute which ‘felt like an hour’ before his son let out his very first cry. Minutes later paramedics arrived assuring the pair Henry was ok.

Oxford Mail:

Mrs Fowler, a sales assistant at John Lewis, said: “We were lucky because another ambulance was passing at the time and although they had another patient they were flagged down [by a passer-by] and could check everything was ok.

“The police also came and stopped the traffic and moved everyone to the other side of the road. We couldn’t believe how close we were [to the hospital] literally just round the corner.”

Mrs Fowler said she was ‘very surprised’ to have given birth so quickly and on Henry’s actual due date after being told that rarely happens with the first-born.

She added: “The midwives said even ‘if the baby starts coming you will have a good hour of pushing before’.

“Everything was an exception to the rules. Although I wouldn’t choose to have a baby that way again, everybody is fine and the help we had from so many people was amazing.”

Mr Fowler added: “It was absolute pleasure and honour to be able to say I have done this, and the biggest thing is we did it as a team. Jenny did amazing with her part and I had my part to play. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, I am incredibly proud.

“The paramedics and everyone that helped us I can’t thank enough, the whole medical team were absolutely fantastic – without them it would have been a lot scarier experience.”

Henry George Stuart Fowler was born at 7lbs 9oz and was back home with mum and dad that evening.

After what Mrs Fowler describes as ‘deceptively easy’ first night, the trio are settling into family life.