Special delivery in Swaffham for former soldier Ian

PUBLISHED: 06:30 30 November 2011

New born Ava-Grace Roper with her parents and grandparents (from left) Marcus-Lewis Roper, Sarah-Jane Roper, Ian Hindle and Petra Hindle. Picture: Ian Burt

New born Ava-Grace Roper with her parents and grandparents (from left) Marcus-Lewis Roper, Sarah-Jane Roper, Ian Hindle and Petra Hindle. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2011

He has experienced war and been involved in conflicts around the world but nothing could have prepared Ian Hindle, a former soldier, for what happened in his living room last week.

The 42-year-old, who was a staff sergeant in the 26 Royal Artillery regiment, delivered his daughter’s baby, Ava-Grace Roper, in just 10 minutes on Wednesday morning at his home in Castle Acre Road, Swaffham.

“Being in the army, I’ve seen and done things which are not nice. Delivering my granddaughter was one of the most fantastic things I have had to do in my whole life,” Mr Hindle said.

The proud grandfather added: “I don’t get emotional but there was a bit of a lump in my throat once the adrenalin had gone.”

Ava-Grace’s mother, Sarah-Jane Roper, 19, had planned to give birth at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn, but at about 5.30am 
she started to get contractions every 15 minutes.

Mr Hindle added: “Because my wife and I have had babies before and so has Sarah, we thought the birth wasn’t going to be imminent.

“The hospital said ‘don’t rush and get yourself ready to leave’. Then 15 minutes later Sarah-Jane felt sick and said the contractions were getting quicker.

“I said ‘forget the hospital’ and rang the paramedics. As I was on the phone to them Sarah’s water broke. The paramedics talked me through it and I got her into the front room. Minutes later Ava-Grace was here.”

The newborn weighed six pounds and eight ounces and afterwards both mother and baby were checked over by parademics, who arrived just after Ava-Grace was born. They were both healthy enough to stay at home.

Mr Hindle, who was based in Germany for 22 years with the 26 Royal Artillery regiment, added: “It was very surreal. At the end of it we all looked at each other and said ‘did that just happen?’”

Miss Roper said: “My mum was panicking but my dad was awesome. He put me in the right state of mind.”

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