A PROUD dad from Greenock has told how he had to deliver his beautiful baby girl in the back of a taxi.

Francie Quinn was stunned when his daughter Aria Grace made her arrival on the M8 on the way to the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

His partner Jayne Leck went into labour early and their bundle of joy landed in her dad's outstretched arms.

The couple say they were left stunned by Aria Grace's dramatic entry into the world but the tot was remarkably quiet.

Francie, 46, said: "I was worried when she came out - she wasn't even crying.

"I turned her over on her stomach and she started then and I wrapped her up in a towel.

"It was an unbelievable experience.

"I don't know a lot of dads who get to deliver their own baby.

"I just fell in love with her straight away.

"I can't wait to tell all her friends when she is older that I delivered her.

"She's wee miracle."

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The couple were less than half an hour into their journey from Greenock to Paisley when Aria made her appearance, 16 days early, on August 20.

Jayne's waters broke the night before and they decided to make their way to the hospital in the early hours.

She said: "I was pacing about up and down the hall and I had niggly pains, then all of a sudden my waters broke.

"It started at the back of 11pm then about 2am I said 'we'd better get to the hospital'."

Francie, of Killearn Road, said: "We packed up and I jumped in my wee car but it needs a bit of work and I didn't want to take it up the motorway, so we went down to Forsyth Street to pick up Jayne's dad's car instead.

"My pal Mark Rodgers happened to pass and I asked him if he would give us a lift up in his taxi."

Around 20 minutes later, just at the airport turn-off, Jayne started screaming in the eight-seater taxi.

Francie said: "She just said 'the baby's coming'.

"I didn't believe her at first and I was telling her to hold on."

They had just turned the roundabout at the airport junction when the baby's head popped out.

Jayne, 36, said: "I was mortified.

"I kept thinking to myself I can't have this baby in the back of a taxi.

"Francie was holding her head in his hands - it was all over in seconds.

"When we turned at the roundabout at Glasgow Airport, Francis's body was lying diagonally to mine and the umbilical cord was between us."

The brave mum only had two paracetamol as pain relief.

She told the Tele there were some comic light-hearted moments amid all the drama.

Francie said: "Jayne's head kept hitting the interior light and turning it on as I kept trying to switch it back off."

Jayne added: "It was like a disco coming right up the motorway!"

The super-cool mum even managed to call ahead to the hospital so that a maternity team were ready and waiting for them in the car park.

Francie said: "They cut the cord and the midwife asked me what we had - I didn't even know at that stage."

Only the day before Jayne had received an iron infusion in the same ward.

Less than 48 hours later she was back with her newborn, who weighed in at 6lb 6oz.

Jayne, who had been volunteering with Francis at Branchton Community Centre during the coronavirus lockdown, says it has been a surreal year.

She said: "It was the end of June when I found out I was pregnant and I was told the baby was due on September 5 and I was just getting my head round it and then she came early.

"I felt totally shellshocked - it all happened in a heartbeat.

"It felt like 20 minutes between my waters breaking and the baby being born but Francis says it was two hours.

"It has been an incredible year, with the pandemic and volunteering, finding out I was pregnant and then the baby coming early and being born in the back of a taxi.

"It could have only happened to us."

Jayne and Francie have three grown-up daughters from previous relationships between them - Kara, who is 18, while Francis's daughters Elisha, 24, and Melissa, 17, also adore their little sister.

The new mum and dad are totally besotted with their precious addition to the family.

Jayne said: "I wouldn't change things for the world.

"She's perfect."

Francie, who is still delivering meals from Branchton to vulnerable members of the community, says his daughter is a 'real daddy's girl'.

Jayne said: "She's as good as gold for Francie."

The couple want to thank Mark, plus all the staff and volunteers at Branchton for the generous baby gifts they have sent.

Jayne said: "I don't know what would have happened if it hadn't been for Mark - we can't thank him enough."