Baby Isabella’s birth cuts short family meal at pub

Photo Neil Cross
Andrew and Libby Hartley at The Keys restaurant with baby Isabella Kay, after Libby went into labour during a meal lthere ast week
Photo Neil Cross Andrew and Libby Hartley at The Keys restaurant with baby Isabella Kay, after Libby went into labour during a meal lthere ast week
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Baby Isabella was so keen to enter the world that she interrupted her mum and dad’s meal at a Lancaster pub.

Libby and Andrew Hartley were enjoying an early birthday meal for Andrew’s mum Janice at The Keys in Slyne when Libby went into labour 10 days early.

Photo Neil Cross
Andrew and Libby Hartley at The Keys restaurant with baby Isabella Kay, after Libby went into labour during a meal lthere ast week, with General Manager Cameron Watson

Photo Neil Cross Andrew and Libby Hartley at The Keys restaurant with baby Isabella Kay, after Libby went into labour during a meal lthere ast week, with General Manager Cameron Watson

Isabella was born the following day – also her grandmother’s birthday – and the new family this week enjoyed a complimentary meal at the pub after the Guardian helped to track them down.

Alongside her big brother William, three, Isabella has now completed the family which Andrew, 36, thought he would never have after he was paralysed from the chest down in a car accident 18 years ago.

The Guardian also reported on William’s birth in 2012.

Andrew, who is a teaching assistant at Halton St Wilfrid’s Primary School, said: “I was told the chance of having a child naturally was less than 10 per cent so to have it happen twice is wonderful for us.

“We just feel like everything is perfect for us now; our family is complete.”

Isabella’s dramatic entrance began at 6.30pm on May 28.

Andrew said: “It was my mum’s birthday on May 29 so we were all out for a meal.”

Libby, who is 29 and works as an auditor for Skipton Building Society, said: “I wasn’t due until June 7 so we weren’t expecting it at all.

“We were just finishing our meal when my waters broke at the table.

“The staff were really helpful, they asked us straight away what we needed.”

Andrew’s parents took William home while the couple rushed straight to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Isabella was born the following morning at 8.57am, weighing 7lbs.

She has been named after Libby’s mum Bella, who sadly passed away suddenly at Christmas.

And her middle name Kay is also Andrew’s mum’s middle name.

“We were 90 per cent sure it would be a boy because there are so many boys in our family,” Andrew said. “It was quite a shock at first when we realised it was a girl. It was lovely.

“She is doing really well and William is being really good with her. He wants to hold her all the time.”

Cameron Watson, general manager at The Keys, presented the family with champagne and flowers when they were welcomed back to the pub for a meal on Tuesday.

The family will also be given a complimentary birthday meal for Isabella every year.

Libby and Andrew were tracked down after The Keys asked the Guardian for help putting out an appeal for the couple to come forward.

“We are so grateful to all the staff,” Andrew said. “What they have done for us is so nice.

“We didn’t have a clue they were looking for us but my cousin saw the appeal on Facebook and then lots of people got in touch to tell us.

“We live in Hest Bank and we enjoy coming here. We come quite a lot so it’s quite nice that it happened here.”

Mr Watson added: “It’s just lovely to be able to do something for such lovely people on what’s one of the best events in people’s lives.

“To be even remotely involved in it is a privilege and we wanted to help them celebrate the occasion.”