The hospital car park is probably one of the last places an expectant mother would imagine having her baby delivered but this was the case for one Northamptonshire mum back in March.
Shannon Hitchcock, of Crick, woke up early on March 8th with contractions and knew her second baby's arrival was close.
At about 6am Shannon quickly called Northampton General Hospital who advised the couple to wait a little while longer but come 8.15am Shannon was close to giving birth.
James said: “We live in Crick, it’s about half-an-hour away from the hospital on a good day, we reached Kingsthorpe at around 8.40am, which wasn’t great, as it’s usually busy with work and school run traffic at this time.
"It was at this time when Shannon told me that she needed to push.
"I immediately started to feel the pressure. I had to do some interesting manoeuvres while driving, but at the same time, ensure I wasn’t endangering my wife and baby.”
Shannon and James arrived at the drop-off zone outside the Barratt Birth Centre where James began to try and get Shannon into the hospital.
Luckily for the couple, home-birth midwife, Maiken Hviid, was in the car park preparing to start her day visiting expecting mothers.
Maiken said: “I was getting into my car at 9am when I heard Shannon cry for help.
"I immediately came to her aid. James was trying to get Shannon into the birth centre but after a few steps she told us the baby was coming.
"I had to do a very fast assessment to work out how much time I had and what I should do next.”
It became clear to Maiken that there would not be enough time to get Shannon into the hospital before the baby’s arrival.
Maiken had a trainee with her who made an emergency phone call to the birth centre for urgent assistance.
She added: “Luckily, I had my birth bag with me, which we use to deliver babies in the community.
"I had everything I needed to safely deliver the baby.
"When Fatima, Hayley and Lucy arrived from the birth centre, they helped cover the car with linen to preserve Shannon’s dignity and pass the items I needed.”
The midwives then began with the delivery, concentrating on the importance of ensuring Shannon was calm.
Shannon said: “I was mainly focusing on getting through every contraction.
"This meant I didn’t have time to panic about the scenario I was in.
"When I saw the midwives approach the car, I just stopped worrying because they were here and I knew I was safe.”
Shannon gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Adara, who weighed 8lb 3oz.
When registering Adara’s name, Shannon and James were reunited with the team who had helped on the day.
A special thank you was also given to the porter, Nigel, who took the couple into the hospital after the birth.
Maiken added: “With my expertise in working as a home-birth midwife, I am used to working in small spaces, we have delivered babies in places like yurts and canal boats, so we are used to being creative with positioning women so they can give birth comfortably.”
Article credit: Insight Magazine.