Leaning on a wall above him, his wife Rebecca was about to give birth to their first child.
It was too late to go to hospital – the baby’s head was already showing. Ben would have to deliver it himself.
“I was half panicking, not knowing what to do,” Ben said.
“In the back of my head I thought, ‘Should I boil some water?’. That’s what they always do in the movies.”
Family friend Cara McDonald had called 000 and was passing on instructions. Ben was poised, ready to catch the baby as it emerged.
“I was a bit worried about how to catch it,” Ben said.
“I had a towel at first, but Cara said I should use my hands.
“But I thought it would be OK – I’m a pretty good catcher.”
Rebecca had been in labour for seven hours, using hypno-birthing techniques to help control the pain.
Knowing the average first-time labour was about 12 hours, Rebecca had assumed the birth was still hours away.
“But all of a sudden I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom – I had a few contractions and thought I had dilated,” she said.
“Ben got the car packed to go to hospital and I was about to get in when I put my hand down and said, ‘I can feel the head!’.
“So he basically had to deliver it. I had another contraction, the baby came out and he caught it.
“He was blown away, totally shocked.”
Beaming with pride, Ben drove his wife and new daughter Melody to Nepean Private Hospital filled “with a huge feeling of elation and ecstacy”.
“It was great – we’d brought her into the world and she was healthy and cute and Rebecca had done it easily,” Ben said.
“I told my boss and he sent an email out to all the staff – now everyone’s calling me Dr Ben.”
The following article by Nicole Hasham appeared in Penrith Press on the 16th June 2009.
Rebecca and Ben attended HypnoBirthing class at Sydney Wellbeing Centre.