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Early arrival for little Archie

PUBLISHED: 00:59 17 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:40 03 March 2010

WHEN his wife suddenly went into labour and he had to help deliver the baby, James McWilliam could have been forgiven for having a feeling of déjà vu.

For exactly the same thing happened to his father Bill when James decided to make an early entrance into the world almost 36 years ago.

WHEN his wife suddenly went into labour and he had to help deliver the baby, James McWilliam could have been forgiven for having a feeling of déjà vu.

For exactly the same thing happened to his father Bill when James decided to make an early entrance into the world almost 36 years ago.

James, an educational welfare officer, was called into action soon after 3am on Sunday, October 7, when his pregnant partner Diana Metcalfe realised their second child was arriving sooner than expected.

The midwife was called, but by time she arrived at 3.45am, she found James cradling newborn baby Archie – just as his father Bill had delivered him all those years ago.

"Delivering the baby was the only thing I had not considered. I had got all the candles and the music prepared, all the ambience, but it all happened so quickly," said James, of Lorraine Way, Bramford.

"It was a daunting task and it was a bit scary, but now it just seems like the most fantastic thing. It was the proudest moment of my life."

Following the birth of 8lbs 7oz Archie, a brother for three-year-old Molly, James called his father, Dr Bill McWilliam, for some expert advice on what to do before the midwife arrived.

He had delivered James at their home in Henley Road, Ipswich, back in October 1965 - but it was not such a daunting experience for him for he was a practising GP in the town for many years and only retired a couple of years ago.

"It is a bit of coincidence that both my father and I delivered our sons, although he was used to it and this was the first baby I had delivered – and I hadn't planned on doing that. I've just got to deliver another 39 babies and I'll be an honorary midwife," said James, who works for Suffolk County Council in Bury St Edmunds.

But the "real star" of the night, according to the proud father, was Diana, who got through the birth by taking just a couple of pills.

"It was a very exciting moment and Jim did so well, he talked me through the whole thing, Then he patted the baby's back to get him breathing after he was born," said the 33-year-old, who works for Suffolk Young Carers.

"He kept very calm and his father told us to wait for the midwife, who was superb as well, before the cord was cut. We are absolutely delighted - and so was Molly the next morning."

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