'This better work,’ I sighed to my fiancé Stephen, 43. ‘I’m so fed up.’
Five days overdue with my second child, I felt huge. I’d read that pineapple could help, so I was eating lots of it. Amazingly, at 4am the next morning I woke up with contractions. It worked!
By 8.30am, they were three minutes apart and the pain was excruciating.
‘It’s time to go,’ I told Stephen.
With Jude, 18 months, in the care of his granddad, we climbed into the car and headed off. Moments later, we stopped at a junction, waiting to join the main road. Suddenly, there was a gush.
‘My water’s broken,’ I gasped. ‘Hurry!’
But looking around, there were vehicles bumper-to-bumper in both directions. The hospital was only 10 minutes away, but there was no way we’d get there fast.
Slowly, Stephen edged into the rush-hour traffic as I phoned my midwife.
‘My water’s broken and we’re stuck,’ I panicked. ‘Am I going to have this baby?’
‘No, that only happens in the movies,’ she reassured me.
Another contraction hit and I let out a scream.
‘Actually, it sounds like you’re close,’ she said. ‘Call an ambulance.'
Hanging up, I gripped the seat. ‘Stephen, I’ve got the urge to push!’
He phoned Triple-0. As another wave of pain hit me, and I screamed loudly, I heard the operator tell Stephen to pull over.
‘You’re not going to make it,’ she warned.
‘No, keep driving,’ I begged. ‘I’m not having my baby on the side of the road!’
I tried crossing my legs, but it was no use.
‘Put the hazard lights on, drive on the wrong side of the road – anything!’ I pleaded. ‘What if something goes wrong?’
‘Everything will be fine,’ Stephen soothed, pulling up.
The operator told him to lay the seat back and put my feet on the dashboard.
‘What if someone takes a video?’ I cringed. ‘I could end up on YouTube!’
Beside us, traffic crawled. I watched in horror as a bus edged forward – and stopped right next to our car! Trying to protect my modesty, Stephen hung a baby blanket over the window.
Just then, I reached down and felt hair. ‘The head’s coming out!’ I screeched.
Stephen sat ready to catch our baby. Thankfully, paramedics arrived in the nick of time and helped with the delivery. With two more pushes our gorgeous girl arrived.
Stephen started to cry as he cut the cord, then our bub was placed on my chest. We’d chosen the name Danica, after my mum. I was so in love, I forgot all about the traffic.
Taken to hospital to be checked out, we were able to go home later that day.
I couldn’t help but chuckle thinking about the motorists who went past. I bet they didn’t expect to see someone give birth on their way to work!
We still can’t believe Danica was born in a traffic jam!
This story was originally published in that's life! Issue 25, 23 June 2016.