A POLICE couple responded to their own emergency by delivering their baby on a toilet.

Castle Point Sgt Mark McQuade had to overcome his shock and spring into action when his Southend custody sergeant wife Penny suddenly went into labour.

She had started having mild contractions earlier in the evening, but was waiting until they became closer together before going to hospital.

When, in the early hours of the morning, they were ten minutes apart, Mark called Penny’s mum Hazel to look after their two-year-old son Gabriel, so they could leave.

But baby Elizabeth had other ideas.

As Mark opened the door to Hazel, they heard screams from the bathroom and rushed upstairs to find Penny having constant contractions.

She told her frantic husband “I feel like I need to push”, prompting him to call Southend Hospital for help.

Mark, 47, said: “The screams were terrible and I was panicking.

“I thought ‘this baby is coming, there’s no one here, we have no equipment, no blankets, no warm water, no trained staff, nothing’.

“I was speaking to the man, trying to give him my address and I couldn’t hear because the screams were so loud.

“I could hear Penny say ‘I’m having to push, it’s coming’.

“I was out of the room for seven seconds and I heard an almighty scream. I ran back in and the baby was on her lap.

“She had to push, and she and Hazel had to hold the baby’s head to stop her going into the toilet. I think the baby got a plonk on the head from the porcelain.

“It was a surreal out of body experience.

I felt like I was floating. It was wonderful, weird and scary.”

That wasn’t the end of Elizabeth’s dramatic entrance to the world.

She was born in the amniotic sack, which only happens to one in 80,000 babies.

Maternal instinct took over for Penny and Hazel, who ripped open the sack, opened Elizabeth’s airways, and made her take her first breaths.

Penny, 30, said: “At the time I didn’t know what to do.

“My mum said ‘try not to push’, but Elizabeth had other ideas. She was coming.

“As soon as she cried I was relieved. Her eyes were wide open. It was so surreal.”

Elizabeth Anne McQuade was born a healthy and happy 6lb 5oz at 2.39am on Saturday, much to the surprise of Gabriel who had slept through the whole performance.

Penny added: “As we waited for the paramedics I just thought this is lovely. I have my mum and my husband here and Elizabeth was looking around. It was perfect.

“I am so lucky we weren’t somewhere else.

“I wasn’t due until Tuesday and still had two days left at work, so I could have been at the police station.

“But it was amazing. By 5.30am we were sat up in bed with tea and toast.”