A PROUD Largs father has told how he had to deliver his new beautiful baby girl in the car park of a local nature reserve.

Andrew Still was stunned when tiny Eliza decided she was making her big entrance as he rushed wife Sara to Royal Alexandra Hospital's maternity unit in Paisley.

The couple stopped the car at the nearest available place - the RSPB Nature Reserve in Lochwinnoch - as the 31-year-old went into labour early and their bundle of joy landed in her delighted dad's outstretched arms.

Sara explained: "We didn't know whether to pull over or put the foot down and try and get to the hospital.

"We were just approaching the reserve's car park and decided to pull in to decided, but we were only there for 10 minutes when I knew the baby wasn't going to wait.

"I quickly got myself comfortable and we contacted the ambulance service. They were insistent on a post code for the location, which we didn't know, so Andrew had to rush into the centre to get the details.

"I got myself onto the ground and was propped myself against the side of the car. I was trained in hypnobirthing for my last baby so I was fully focussed and relaxed.

"We were aware that the ambulance crew was still ten minutes away. They said they would talk us through the delivery over the phone but before they got the chance Eliza's head came out, then another push saw her full body follow.

"Andrew delivered the baby and it was a magical moment.

"The ambulance crew didn't arrive until after she was born. One of the crew said she was disappointed as she had never delivered a baby before and thought this might be her chance!"

Sara says the unexpected drama presented Andrew with a unique opportunity that he may otherwise have missed.

She added: "With all the Covid restrictions in place, some fathers have not had the opportunity to be present at the birth of their baby so it was great for Andrew that not only was he there, but he delivered Eliza too."

The whole family returned to the RSPB centre this week to thank them for their help on the day - with big brother Ezra, three, joining his new little sister.

Sara, who is a civil servant and helps in product procurement for Bluestone Gift shops in Largs, said: "I don't think now I would have changed a thing about how it happened. It was perfect in many ways, you had to just kick into the correct mindset.

"Andrew stayed very calm and got the opportunity to cut the cord too. It was probably less of a controlled environment but all the techniques I had learned just kicked in."

Andrew, 32, is a full-time stay-at-home dad. He used to be an estimator for a fitness company and celebrated with proud grandparents Judith and Alistair Still of Largs little Eliza's arrival, weighing five pounds and 14 ounces.

A spokesperson for the RSPB Nature Reserve said: "It was a wonderful surprise arrival. Congratulations to the family once again from all the staff at the reserve."

Sara added: "The RSPB Centre is somewhere we will visit frequently for a regular jaunt, or perhaps for one of Eliza's birthday parties.

"Funnily enough when we visited this week, we managed to get the same parking spot, so we were able to show Ezra exactly where it all happened."