A proud mum and dad paid a return visit to a bakery to say heartfelt thanks to the staff who jumped action in their hour of “knead”.
Dad Matt Cooke was driving his heavily pregnant partner, Margaret Edwards, to hospital when their little boy, Tao, made an early arrival at the entrance to the Village Bakery in Minera, near Wrexham.
They were bowled over by the help they were given by the bakers-turned-midwives who dashed out to help them when the drama happened on July 10 which was also Matt’s 38th birthday.
The couple made good on their promise to bring Tao back to see them at the family-run bakery.
A baker’s dozen of staff all did their bit but Matt and Margaret, known to everyone as Mogs, were particularly grateful to hygiene operative Michele Taylor Jones and technical assistant Jeanette Owens.
“They were fantastic,” said Matt, who had delivered Tao himself by the time Michele, 47, and Jeanette, 41, got to their camper van.
Matt and Mogs were on their way from their home in Bala to Wrexham Maelor Hospital when the waters broke and she realised she was going to give birth then and there.
Mogs, 31, who already has three children, said: “Having Michele and Jeanette there was like having my mum with me. You need support at a time like this.
“I’ll never be able to thank them enough. I felt really safe and secure after they arrived on the scene.”
Mogs, a care worker with Gwynedd Council, has three other children – Isabel, 12, Abigail, nine, and six-year-old Elliot.
“Tao was actually four days late, but we went out on Bala Lake in a kayak the night before he was born and I felt so relaxed,” she said.
“I think that helped with his shock arrival. I was desperate to avoid an induced birth.”
Michele said she and Jeanette, who were on a break, rushed to help believing a baby needed CPR.
“But when I got to the vehicle, mum was in the front passenger seat holding a new-born baby,” said Michele, a fully trained first aider.
“It was the mum’s fourth baby and she handled things really well. She was brilliant.
“I have three children of my own and never cried with any of them, but I was bawling over Tao’s birth. And Tao wasn’t shy about crying himself!
“I asked Mogs if I could hold the baby and checked his airways to make sure they were clear.”
Jeanette said: “He’s a really beautiful baby, a proper bouncing baby boy already.”
Matt, who has just graduated from Bangor University with an honours degree in film and creative writing, was a professional kayaker until breaking his back in 2013 when he was forced to look for a new career.
He’s now a warden at Ty’n Cornel campsite just outside Bala and a raft guide for Get Wet Adventure in Bala. He also helps his dad build horseboxes at Halco Leisure in Hooton, near Ellesmere Port.
“The drama on July 10 happened from 11.30am onwards,” said Matt. “When we eventually got to Wrexham Maelor Hospital we were there for about five hours.
“Mogs was really tired and exhausted, but we had to go back the next day. A paediatrician wanted to check Tao again.
“Before the ambulance arrived I just had to get a picture of me and my son outside the bakery. It’s a photo we’ll cherish forever.”
The Village Bakery prepared a bag of goodies for Matt and Mogs including loaves of bread, crumpets and the company’s famous Welsh Cakes.
Michele and Jeanette had their own gifts for the happy couple and in return Matt and Mogs had presents for the two Village Bakery staff.
“We’ll never forget how they helped us,” said Mogs. “Michele and Jeanette were absolutely brilliant. We owe them both a huge debt of gratitude.”
Village Bakery managing director Robin Jones said: “I am proud but not surprised that the team sprang into action when they were ‘kneaded’.
“They are brilliant bakers but they are also brilliant people. They are Village People.”