Birth Story: ‘Midwives cheered me on as I birthed in my car’

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Living 45 minutes from the nearest hospital, Katie Kinna wanted to leave in plenty of time for the birth of her second baby. With her contractions all over the place, and reassured on the phone by the midwives that she was still in the early stages of labour, Katie continued labouring at home.

But just 40 minutes later she and her partner were racing to the hospital, with her baby well on the way. And while they made it to the hospital, they didn’t make it inside. Katie gave birth in the car, at the hospital doors, with her partner Paul capturing birth images of the unexpected moment.

A rainbow baby

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Katie and Paul were already parents to their adorable son Bodhi when they decided to try for a second baby last year. Both pregnancies ended in heartbreaking miscarriages. It prompted Katie to see a specialist just in case, but the next week she fell pregnant again. While she needed progesterone for the first trimester, the rest of Katie’s pregnancy was low risk.

Fast forward to the early hours of Anzac Day 2021 and Katie started to get contractions that periodically woke her from sleep.

“I knew I needed to get as much sleep as possible if today was the day,” Katie told Mum’s Grapevine. “Two days prior I was also experiencing vomiting and diarrhoea so knew my body was getting ready for labour. I was very nervous but also very excited to meet our little rainbow baby.”

Her contractions were anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes apart throughout the day, and by 2pm they were more consistently closer to 10 minutes. “By 5pm they were between four to six minutes apart and the contractions were starting to make me moan with each one, so definitely intensifying and thinking I needed to make contact with the birthing suite.

“The birthing suite was called and as we live about 45 away from the hospital wanted to make sure I had time to get there. I was told was still only in early labour and to hang out for as long as possible. (Ladies listen to your instincts, if you are uncomfortable at home, go to the hospital and quickly). These contractions I was standing/leaning over the bed with a heat pack on my tummy, and then they started to get spontaneous – six minutes apart, two minutes apart, four minutes, back to six minutes.

“About 40 mins later I had enough and told my partner let’s go. (Sorry babe can’t finish watching the footy). As soon as I went from that laying position to upright/sitting in the car I felt extremely uncomfortable.”

‘Get me to the hospital now!’

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With the pair on their way to hospital, Katie’s contractions were just two to three minutes apart, and she was begging Paul to get them to the hospital stat.

“I’m moaning and groaning and the pain was getting extreme. I was literally leaning half out the window with my eyes shut howling to the moon, trying to breathe as best as possible as each contraction rolled in. (Would have loved to see what I looked like from cars driving next to us!)

“I managed to call ahead, five minutes away from the hospital to let them know this baby was coming as I started to feel the need to push with lots of pressure. They told me if I cannot make it to hospital to call 000. I yelled at my partner, ‘I am not having this baby on the side of the road!’

“Minutes away from the hospital as the contractions were coming in hot I was moaning and there was that grunt with the moan, it was time to start pushing. I turned to my partner in my low grunting voice: ‘I’ve got to push’ – with a worried look from my partner highly suggested to me: ‘No no, don’t push, don’t push. We’re nearly there’ Yeah righto babe!

“We got to the hospital emergency pull-up bay while practically standing in the passenger side of the car, my legs were shaking and I could feel the baby’s head crowning. Then it hit me, this was it, it was happening, right here right now I’m about to push out my baby in my car.

Birth story Katie Kinna car birth

Birth story Katie Kinna

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“The midwives raced over and opened the door, they were so encouraging and cheering me on, they allowed me to keep doing what I was doing. Pants came off (sorry to the bystanders walking past) and within two pushes my baby’s head was out. At this very moment, I was so relieved as I knew within a matter of minutes I would be finally meeting my baby after 41 weeks.

“The next contraction I pushed with all I had left and she was out, there she was, so fresh and new with her amniotic sac covering her face. The midwife pulled it off her face and told me as she came out she was born in her sac which just broke as her body came out.

“I couldn’t believe what just happened as I held her in my arms. I was able to relax now, we sat there for a bit taking it all in. My partner cut the cord and I birthed the placenta while still sitting in the car. The car was still actually running all this time. The midwives were so quick-acting and so calm, exactly what I needed in the wildest experience in my life.

“I was taken up to the birthing suite in a wheelchair not long after. I experienced second-degree tears but all in all, I was feeling good, a little tired but so empowered with what I had just accomplished. I’ve got to give credit to my partner for getting us to the hospital with minutes to spare and also handling the whole situation so calmly.

“Safe to say it was the most overwhelming, crazy and intense experience of my life. But so glad it’s all over and our baby girl Louella is here safe and sound.”

Katie jokingly adds: “Ps. Hyundai ix35 for sale. PM me for more details.”

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