Supermarket shoppers were left stunned when an expectant mother went into labour at a branch of Lidl.
Natasha Thomson, 33, made an emergency stop outside a County Durham branch of the German discount supermarket chain while on her way to hospital to give birth.
But this was not a case of making a last minute trolley dash, as baby daughter Holly decided she couldn’t wait for her mum to reach the University Hospital of North Tees before making her way into the world.
Ms Thomson and proud father Marc Voyzey, 31, welcomed their baby girl in the front seat of their car after pulling over at Lidl in Peterlee at 7am on Thursday.
And just 11 minutes later, little Holly was in her mother’s arms while paramedics were rushing to the scene.
Ms Thomson told ChronicleLive: "It's definitely a good story to tell her when she's older.
"It all happened so fast, it was a bit of a shock, we didn't expect it to happen this way."
Holly arrived five days before her due date – although Ms Thomson’s contractions started on Wednesday night.
As the contractions “weren’t very strong”, Ms Thomson decided to go to bed with her partner – only to wake up the next morning knowing she needed to get to hospital immediately.
Mr Voyzey bundled the expectant mum into their car and headed for the North East Ambulance Service’s base but he was advised to pull over by the 999 operators and told to wait for paramedics to arrive.
The young dad then helped deliver his baby as they waited in the Lidl car park.
Ms Thomson recounts: "I just turned to Marc and said 'the baby is coming'. We pulled over in the car park, put our hazards on and next thing we know she's here.”
Holly’s arrival drew an audience as the birthing happened live in front of early morning shoppers.
Ms Thomson said: ”They were people looking through the window because I obviously wasn't being quiet because I was in labour. I was very proud of Marc, I expected him to panic in that situation but he was just amazing."
The new arrival was sent home after baby and mother were taken to hospital for a check over.
Holly has two older siblings – a seven-year-old brother names Lucas and a two-year-old sister called Charlotte.