A woman has recalled her shock after giving birth to a baby on a car park bench at a Romford hospital.

Taylor Thacker, 27, gave birth to Elsie-Jay in the car park of Queen's Hospital on January 7, delivered by her mother Karen Hayward, 54, at 5.54pm.

The 27-year-old said she did not have any time to think and the baby was born just 45 minutes after her waters broke at her Rainham home.

Paul Clarke, 33, Taylor's fiancé, had to cut the umbilical cord since there was no time to alert hospital staff.

"I think I was just in shock," said Taylor. "It was very rushed and I was in shock really - I didn't have any time to think at all.

"My little drama queen had to make an entrance somehow," she added.

Romford Recorder: Ivy-Lea, 3, with her baby sister Elsie-JayIvy-Lea, 3, with her baby sister Elsie-Jay (Image: James Kemal)

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Taylor, Paul and Karen had rushed to the hospital from their home in Elizabeth Road in Rainham.

Elsie-Jay's birth came as a surprise, especially since she was born a week earlier than her due date.

The newborn joins sister Ivy-Lea, three, and brother Freddie, one, in the family. 

Visitors, including aunt Leanne Hayward and grandmother Carol Clarke, 66, were said to have flocked to the hospital's maternity unit.

Paul said Elsie-Jay's birth was the talk of the ward.


"The midwives were shocked," Paul said. It's not every day a baby is born in the car park."

Romford Recorder: Elsie-Jay's arrival came quicker than expectedElsie-Jay's arrival came quicker than expected (Image: James Kemal)

Taylor also took the opportunity to praise those who happened to be in the car park, notably two women, who lended a hand.

"I'd like to thank passers-by who helped me into a wheelchair and kept me warm by providing a hospital gown and reassuring me," she said.

Taylor added that it had been very cold that day and said she felt fortunate that there were other people there to help.

“It was good because it was rushed they might not have been there but thankfully they were, if I was on my own I wouldn’t have known what to do," she said.

Around ten staff rushed out to help her and Elsie-Jay into the hospital where they spent the day, before being discharged.

“I was very much relieved and just happy she was healthy,” added Taylor.