A Stoke by Clare mother went into labour as she sat in the audience of her eldest daughter’s school graduation evening.
Billieann Monk, from Church Park, later gave birth in hospital to a daughter, Evie-Mae, a week earlier than expected.
She had gone to the Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill to watch her sixteen-year-old daughter Jade and her schoolfriends, who graduated in the summer, receive awards in recognition of their efforts.
Mrs Monk was due to give birth on December 23, so when her waters broke as she sat in the school’s drama hall, some quick-thinking was required.
The 36-year-old explained: “They took me to the toilets and that’s where I discovered I had meconium in my fluid, that’s why they phoned the ambulance.
“It can be quite dangerous, that’s why it was all a bit panicky and they didn’t want me to have it there.”
Mrs Monk was taken to the school office by Marion Merch-Chammon, PA to the school’s principal, and Lisa Taylor, its marketing and communications officer.
Mrs Monk had already phoned husband Stan, telling him “You’ve got to get here now, my waters have broken,” when Mrs Merch-Chammon took advice over the phone from a paramedic – help that proved crucial.
Mrs Monk, who praised Mrs Taylor and Mrs Merch-Chammon, said: “I think if the paramedics had not said to put me flat on my back, I would have had it there because things slow down when you are on your back.”
An ambulance took Mrs Monk to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds where she gave birth to daughter Evie-Mae just 15 minutes after arriving.
Evie-Mae was six days early and weighed 6lb 6 oz, but got a clean bill of health.
Mrs Monk said: “We were at the school at 7.15pm. My waters broke as I got up to get out, probably about 8.15pm and I had her by 9.40pm.
“I think one of the teachers mentioned: If she has a little boy she would have to call it Samuel if it was born here’, I think they were very concerned it might happen.”
Evie-Mae is now “quite happy” at home with her mum, dad and sisters Jade, 16, Cerys, 14 and Roseanna, seven.