Quick Delivery: Baby Born on Front Seat of Car

Kelsey shares the story of her daughters arrival


So it all started when we were trying to organise insurance for our impending arrival. I just knew once it was sorted the pain would stop.



Then the pain was so intense it woke me up! I lay in bed for a moment reliving the strange dream where the pain was intense enough to wake me, and then I got up and went to the loo, then crawled back into bed.

I was just snuggled in when the pain came back. It was all low. Right down by my cervix. When it passed I checked the time. 3.07am. I tried again to go back to sleep when the pain came back again. I checked the time. 3.12am. I had the fleeting thought that perhaps this was early labour and I should try to get some sleep, so once again I rolled over only to be struck by the pain again. 3.17am. 5 minute intervals seemed pretty regular, and by this stage I figured I wasn’t going to be going back to sleep. So I checked in to Facebook to see that Sarah was doing her best to jinx me into labour. After a quick “shush, I’m in pain” reply, I decided I should heat up my snuggle safe heat pad and have a cup of tea, because if it was nothing, the heat would probably help me feel better. I wasn’t convinced it was anything urgent. The pains didn’t really feel like the contractions I had last time so I wasn’t too worried just yet. Though at some stage while I was still in bed, I recall thinking “if these are just the beginning, and they’re going to get worse, I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this drug free”.

So I got up to pee again and to see if maybe it was just trapped gas cramping and had a wriggle around on the loo. Alas I didn’t even manage a fart and had to sit through another pain. I wandered downstairs and proceeded to heat the heat pad and boil the jug and go turn on the computer and after wandering around I suddenly realised that they were starting to feel like contractions and it had taken me 20min to make a cup of tea! I had gone auto pilot and had just been pausing to breathe contractions and hadn’t realised how much time had passed. I went back up stairs at 3.45am to let Andy know that he should ‘probably think about waking up’ because ‘I’m having quite regular pains’ so we kind of diddled around looking for something to wear. Contraction. I complained to Andy that I didn’t think I had anything to wear and he said “I didn’t want to say anything cause it sounds dumb but I don’t know what to wear either” and we had a bit of a giggle – cut off by a contraction. By this stage I had found some track pants and a bra and I was rifling through the wardrobe when I realised I should probably call my sister. Contraction. Andy was starting to hurry now and threw me his cell phone and I called Amanda’s cell. Nothing. Home phone. Nothing.

Uh oh. So we decided to just keep getting ready and I’d try again when we were on our way there to drop Kyra off.

Contraction. To be honest I’m not sure these are exactly when I was having contractions but it felt like they were interrupting everything haha.

Then I decided that Andy should take Kyra and then come back and pick me up because I didn’t want to sit through the contractions when I didn’t have to.

So he went and got Kyra out of bed while I selected a couple of old towels from the cupboard and a flannelette swaddle. Contraction.

We made our way downstairs and Andy loaded Kyra in the car while I went to collect my cellphone from the desk. It was about 3.55am-ish by now. The house phone rang and it was Amanda. Andy spoke to her on the phone and he was saying that he was about to bring Kyra up to their house when I felt a burning sensation at my cervix.

Me “It’s too late.”

Andy (still on the phone) “what?”

“Its too late. She’s coming now. Kyra will have to come to the hospital with us.”

Andy quickly relays this to Amanda and hangs up the phone.

I go to head outside and the phone rings again. Andy asks me which hospital. DILEMMA. I’m booked to deliver at Auckland City, but that’s a 20min drive plus 5 floors of elevator. I know I don’t have that long. Waitakere. Are you sure? Yes! Somewhere in there was a conversation about calling an ambulance and deciding they take too long. I almost make it to the car and I have another contraction and while bracing myself against the wall outside the front door, I feel the familiar ballooning feeling down below.

This was the only moment when Kyra got a bit upset; I think she thought she was going in the car without me.

When the contraction passed I proceeded to spread my towels over the front seat and decided it was impossible for me to sit and climbed into the car, knees on the seat, head hanging over the back. Kyra thought this was awesome. I rubbed Kyra’s leg and in between contractions we had little chats and I kept nagging Andy “don’t drive too fast” and he, for the most part, just ignored me , or so it felt like haha.

I just checked google maps and its 4km from my house to the hospital. 8 minutes drive at the speed limit. So I imagine it took us 5minutes tops to get there.

I could feel us slowing down and turning right into the hospital and I said to Andy, “just drive straight to the main entrance and go and tell them that ‘the baby is coming OUT’.” So he goes inside, gets back in the car and starts to drive off again. At this stage I’m a tad confused but I can feel that her head is coming out and I mutter about getting my pants off while Andy muttered about not having any effin’ idea where the maternity entrance is so while I’m wrestling my pants off, he’s turning back to the emergency entrance. Its pretty clear now that the baby is coming OUT – Andy can see her head – and he jumps out of the car and says, “We aren’t going to make it, I can see the baby’s head” and so the Nurse comes to have a look and then quickly summons everyone. She comes to investigate – I assume she’s checking to make sure the cord wasn’t around her neck or something, then she asks me for ‘one more push’ (this really annoys me, as if I was going to suddenly stop pushing??) and I tell her “yeah, its coming” and then Isis was born in the freezing cold morning air in the front seat of my car. Until then I hadn’t lost much in the way of waters, but it all came out with her! Talk about disorganised though – they had grabbed a birthing pack or something that had no clamps, and no one had grabbed any towels, and I had to ask at least twice if they needed a blanket while I tried to shove the flannelette wrap in the general direction of behind me. I was stuck in that position while someone ran for clamps and it was probably only a couple of minutes but it felt like ages! I felt like I was the only person who knew what they were doing (apart from Andy of course who was looking after Kyra).

I was kinda annoyed with myself cause I was wearing too many clothes and I really just wanted to put my baby to my chest to keep her warm, but once she was unattached they let me know they were getting her inside under the heat lamps which I figured would have to do. I remember them saying she looked a little blue but pinked up pretty quickly once she started screaming.

So they wrapped a sheet around my nudey-bum and I reversed myself out of my car whilst kicking off my saturated pants and trying not to catch myself on the clamp still dangling between my legs and climbed up on the bed they’d brought out for me.

Inside I took the rest of my clothes off and they bought her to me and I felt better. They asked me if I wanted the injection to help the placenta along and I said no, and it came along within 10min. They seemed to be in a hurry though. Kept asking if I felt like it was coming or if I was having any more pains. I just wanted to look at my baby.

We had to guess what time she was born, we estimated at around 4.20am. Poor Andy was a little bit removed from the situation given there wasn’t much room in the emergency room we’d been taken in to and that he had to look after Kyra and then he had to go and meet Amanda to give Kyra to her.

After that we were transferred to delivery and they checked my bleeding a couple of times and we finally had a chance to explain that we weren’t booked to deliver here. They checked her blood sugar which was low (2.3 – needed to be 2.6 or higher) and she was a bit cold (no surprises there) so we got her on the boob and draped us in warm towels and cranked up the heating.

Her temperature came up easily but it took a couple of feeds to get her blood sugars up (lucky we had the colostrum – had to send Andy home to get it though!) so we only had to spend the one night there.

The hardest part was not being able to be with Andy and Kyra. Kyra was taken with her little sister immediately! She gave us all a good laugh when we were sitting in the delivery room when she sat on the floor, put her dolly between her legs and gave a bit of a grunt and pushed out her baby haha. Guess she caught that part of the action!

Reflecting back, I had felt a bit sorry for myself all day Wednesday – but I put that down to falling over on the deck on Tuesday and being achy all over, and while I was waiting to see the obstetrician I thought I had ‘felt a trickle’ so I had gone to the toilet to check but it looked yellow in my pad so I assumed it was just wees. Though I did experience ‘the trickle’ a few times that day I just thought my incontinence had just gotten worse. But who knows!