Childbirth is a real labour of love for midwife Jude Beard who has delivered six of her own grandchildren.
Jude Beard , 49, started her family affair on the very first day she qualified and brought granddaughter Emily into the world.
She has helped at the births of a further five grandchildren over the last eight years.
All six were delivered equally between her youngest daughters Amy Webber and Lisa Herbert who are 28 year-old twins.
Jude proudly said: “I always wanted to be a midwife and I feel honoured I could deliver my darling grandchildren into the world.
“The girls would have wanted me to be with them anyway, but this was much more special.
“It’s important that an expectant mother has trust in their midwife, and it’s always easier if they have their mum with them too.
“I’ve been very lucky to be able to combine the two – on six occasions.”
Lisa was the first to call on her midwife mum with Emily who was the second of her four children.
Her first child Jac, now ten, was born after an emergency caesarean as complications threatened them both.
She was not expected to have her second child naturally but Jude got the call to say she was in labour as she headed to work on her very first day.
Jude said: “I rushed to be with her as a mum but she asked my supervisor if I could be her midwife.
“My boss said I could so I did and my beautiful granddaughter was born without any complications.
“To be honest, I’d never really thought about the possibility of being my daughters’ midwife.
“It was just luck Lisa went into labour on my first day on the job.
“I was over the moon when I held Emily for the first time and Lisa was so happy too.
“I was glad I could be there for her, just as any mum would.”
When Amy fell pregnant a couple of years later she also asked for her mum and maternity bosses gave her the go-ahead to help at the birth of grandson Max, now five.
Jude has since gone on to deliver Lisa’s sons Charlie, four, and Billy, two and Amy’s son Alex, four, and baby daughter Annie – the newest addition to the close-knit family four months ago.
All six grandchildren have arrived at the same University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff where Jude is based.
The only other grandchild she has not helped deliver is Oliver the seven year-old son of her eldest daughter Leigh Webber, 30.
He was a caesarean birth but Jude was on hand as a birthing partner – and then helped to nurse Leigh afterwards.
Mum-of-three Jude said: “Births don’t always go according to plan, but fortunately they were all nice, normal deliveries.
“Jac and Oliver were a bit difficult, and had to be delivered by emergency caesarean.
“Even if I had been qualified when Jac was due, I still wouldn’t have been able to birth him, so he doesn’t feel like he missed out.
“But I was a nurse so I cared for Leigh then instead.”
Jude qualified as a nurse in 2002 and made the grade as a midwife in October 2004,
She is married to second husband Alex Beard and lives close to all three of her daughters and her grandchildren near Penarth outside Cardiff.
She added: “We had a very busy Christmas.
“It was wonderful being with all of my amazing family – and even more remarkable that I helped in their birth.
“I’ll always be able to embarrass them.
“Most grandmothers joke about changing their grandchildren’s nappies, but I can say that I birthed them.”
Her three daughters are not planning on having any more children so they can focus on their careers.
Leigh is a training to become a psychology lecturer, Amy is a district nurse and Lisa is a phlebotomist – blood specialist.
Amy said: “We’re all really close – we’ve always been more like sisters than mother and daughters.
“We’ve been very lucky to have our mum with us when we were giving birth.
“It can be scary and a bit gross, but having mum there was so reassuring.
“Every step of the way I felt comfortable and my mind was at ease.”
Amy added: “Leigh is the only one who hasn’t had a baby delivered by our mum, but mum was there acting as a birthing partner, so she doesn’t feel left out at all.”