QUICK-THINKING Julie Cantrell had the perfect present when she delivered her fourth grandchild on Christmas Day.
Julie (50) sprang into action when Sienna Leigh Braitch decided she did not want to miss out on the festivities and arrived eight days early.
The nannan was in the middle of preparing the family’s Christmas dinner at just after 11am when she got the call to drop the potato peeler and rush over from Thrybergh to help daughter Kelly Smith in East Herringthorpe.
Julie said: “I was busy preparing dinner when John rang.
“I left the house with my partner Nigel so quickly that I’d still got my grandaughter’s unicorn slippers on.
“It’s a good job there were no police on the roads because I think we’d have been pulled over for speeding.”
Kelly and partner John Braitch were just getting ready to go to Julie’s for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings when Kelly went into labour, little Sienna having decided she was not going to wait any longer.
John admitted he “panicked” and called Julie, who told him to call 999 and took over when she arrived.
“I had got the assistance of the lady in the ambulance control room who we put on loud speaker,” Julie added.
“She was brilliant. She was asking me how far apart the contractions were and stuff like that but I think instinct just kicked in, to be honest.
“I don’t know how I kept calm but I managed to all the way through.
“As soon as the paramedics got there I just ran downstairs and hugged Nigel — I could have just burst into tears.”
Kelly had Sienna in her bedroom at 11.49am on Christmas Day, with the new arrival weighing a healthy 6lb 9oz.
Julie, who works as a cook at Rotherham College, said: “I always wanted to be a midwife but I didn’t quite see it happening like this.
“Rather than taking the turkey out of the oven, I took the bun out of the oven.”
Kelly said she couldn’t thank her mum enough for her help.
She added: “It was hectic. I had just sat on the bed and my waters burst and it was mayhem from then on.
“I must thank my mum for being the makeshift midwife — she can add that to her CV now, as well as the cooking.”
Despite all the Christmas Day drama, Julie said she still served up the family’s festive feast.
Proud dad John said: “I’d just got in the bath and I heard Kelly screaming so rushed back into the bedroom.
“I didn’t have a clue what to do so I just rang her mum and then the paramedics.
“They talked her through what to do and it was all over within 45 minutes.
“We’re going to take it easy now and enjoy some time together.”
Sienna is Kelly’s fourth child, joining Chantelle (11), Logan (6) and Jasmine (2) at Kelly’s East Herringthorpe home, while John has two older daughters, Jasmine (13) and Lilly-Mae (8).