A new mother has told the remarkable story of her dramatic labour, after she was forced to give birth on the side of the road after her daughter was eight days overdue.
Rachel Elton, 28, from Lake Macquarie on the NSW coast, was supposed to give birth on May 19 in a comfortable hospital bed.
But nine days later, two days before she was supposed to be induced, Ms Elton gave birth in her car several kilometres away from hospital in her partner’s tracksuit pants.
Eden Iris Elton-Percival was born within four hours of active labour at 9.01pm and weighed 3kg.
Ms Elton and her partner Aaron Percival began the mad rush to the hospital after enduring several hours of early labour at home.
‘I started to really feel the pain and thought “I cant do this” for the first time and bellowed – I’m sure people three blocks away could have heard,’ she said.
‘However, the contraction after that was different. I felt the obvious “urge to push” – it really does feel like you need the toilet.
‘I knew this sensation was the second part of active labour and was supposed to happen in the hospital.’
Ms Elton knew she needed to get to the hospital, but instead chose to make sure she had collected the essentials – including a pair of fluffy slippers.
‘The fifth [contraction] happened in the car and this was when my water broke, and I am 90 per cent certain that is when the baby’s head came out,’ she said.
Ms Elton was leaning over the centre console and urged her partner to pull over – but there was nowhere safe to do so for another 500m.
‘I flung the door open and ripped the trackies off one leg,’ she said.
‘I’m kind of glad this was 9pm at night and no-one was really around. Also glad the trackies were Aaron’s pair not mine.’
Mr Percival walked away from the car so that he could call for help but as he did so – with one final push – Ms Elton gave birth in the car over the centre console.
‘I grabbed the baby with my left hand as she came out and remember seeing this little head just fall to one side and thinking “ah no ! support the head”,’ she said.
‘I pulled her up onto my chest and removed my shirt so she could be skin-on-skin.
‘The baby cried immediately so I figured it was fine and the cord was looped behind its neck but was not around its neck. Aaron un-looped the cord and grabbed us a towel as the ambulance rocked up.’
Ms Elton told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Everything is going well, she is a happy bub who feeding and sleeping pretty well. Everything has gone to plan.
She said she spent just a day in hospital and within eight days was back to riding horses.
Ms Elton joked that her hobby may have helped with how quickly Eden came into the world.