A very special delivery: Mother-in-law midwife scrubs up for the arrival of her triplet grandchildren

Everyone could do with an extra pair of hands when caring for a new baby.

But for Leanne Goodwin, the helping hand from her mother-in-law came a little sooner than expected.

When the 25-year-old went into hospital to give birth to triplets, she was accompanied to the ward by mother-in-law Linda – who ended up stepping in to help deliver her grandchildren.

Enlarge   Happy family: Leanne and Linda Goodwin with Elsie, Alfie and Harvey

Happy family: Leanne and Linda with Elsie, Alfie and Harvey

Linda has been at midwife at the same hospital for nine years. And as Leanne was being wheeled to the delivery room, Linda was stopped by a colleague who explained that they needed an extra pair of hands to help with the tricky delivery.

So she put on a surgical gown and joined the team in the operating theatre, where the babies were delivered by caesarian section.

Leanne said: 'The midwife told us they were so busy that day and they asked Linda if she would mind stepping in. I was so nervous before the birth, but Linda was fantastic, and really talked me through it. I was so glad she was there and helping out. It made me feel so much better.

'I never imagined my mother-in-law delivering my babies, but I couldn't have asked for a better midwife.'

Extra help: Linda Goodwin in her role as midwife

Extra help: Linda Goodwin in her role as midwife

First to arrive was Harvey, weighing 4lb4oz, followed by Alfie at 4lb2oz, then Elsie at 3lb11oz. All three were healthy, but were kept in for a fortnight. Now aged 14 weeks, they are at home and thriving.

There were two other midwives, two surgeons, another doctor and an anaesthetist and several other nursing staff in the delivery room at Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital.

Linda was by the surgeon's side as he pulled out Harvey. She was given him to take away, clean and weigh, and the other two midwives were given Elsie and Alfie.

Linda has delivered more than 2,500 babies but never triplets.

Leanne, a customer services manager who is married to Linda's son Adam, 30, a catering manager, said: 'Linda has been invaluable afterwards too. Not only did she deliver my babies, but she has been helping out changing nappies and feeding them too. She has been fantastic.'

Linda, 52, said: 'Leanne and I have always had a close bond, but delivering my grandchildren for her has made our relationship all the more special.'

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