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Headphones play crucial role as father delivers baby in bathroom

Richard Cox used his iPhone earphones to tie off baby Emilie’s umbilical cord.

A father who delivered his premature baby at home on the bathroom floor used his headphones to tie off the new arrival’s umbilical cord.

Richard Cox improvised when an ambulance call handler told him to find shoelaces or string to tie off the cord, stopping bleeding and preventing potentially deadly infection.

But the 31-year-old bank worker said all he had to hand were his headphones.

He said: “It all happened so quickly – my wife went into labour late at night and before I had time to dial for an ambulance she’d been born.

“After Emilie arrived, I rang 999 and the call-handler said I needed to find a bit of string – such as a shoelace – to tie up the umbilical cord.

“The only thing I could find was my iPhone earphones – I tied them to the cord and it was fine.”

Mr Cox praised the ambulance service for saving his baby daughter’s life.

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Richard Cox with baby Emilie shortly after her early arrival (handout/PA)

He said: “The call-taker deserves all the credit.

“While this happened, she was asking is the baby breathing, is the baby okay? With all the noise in the background, she could have lost her cool as well.

“We had it in our mind that the child was not going to be breathing. All the actions of the Scottish Ambulance Service ensured that our little girl survived and I can never thank them enough.”

The drama started when Mr Cox’s wife Hayley, 32, started having intense pains in early January, although their daughter was not due until February 27.

She was in the bathroom at the couple’s home in Rosyth, Fife, when she called out for her husband.

Mr Cox said: “She said ‘Can you come to the bathroom?’ Within a few minutes, I had our baby in my hands. My wife then said ‘You need to phone 999’.”

He added: “It happened too fast, I could not grab the phone to call 999.

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Emilie is now almost seven months old and thriving (handout/PA)

“At the hospital, I was saying I cannot believe this. I cannot remember if she was head first or what.

“The main priority was making sure she was breathing, and making sure her face was wiped.

“I did not appreciate she was born until the ambulance arrived. It’s amazing how your instinct takes over.

“If not for the call handler and paramedics, she would not be here now.”

Emilie was born on January 8 at 1.25am, weighing just 3lb 14 oz.

The couple’s first child Liam, two, was asleep at the time but woke up to the sound of his new sister crying.

An ambulance arrived and the family were taken to hospital in Kirkcaldy, where Emilie spent several weeks in the Special Care Baby Unit.

Her parents now say she is doing really well and weighs 16lb 12oz.

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