Giving birth in a hurry
Delivering a baby at Britomart Station is not on anyone's birth plan, but that's exactly what happened to Emma Wackrow. Emily Bell asks what it was like to go into labour at Auckland's busiest station.
Emma Wackrow went into labour in a toilet cubicle at Britomart station. Within ten minutes, she had given birth – with the help of her two-year-old, Luke, and a student nurse.
‘It all happened so fast. I was having a meal with friends and the next thing I started getting a pain in my stomach, it felt like she was turning at first, but then it became very uncomfortable. I knew I needed to get home, so we walked down to Britomart and looked at the train times – we had half an hour to wait. I was in horrendous pain, so I went to the toilet, and then in the cubicle felt the urge to push. I saw her head and the rest is a bit of a blur.’
Looking after her little boy, Luke, whilst giving birth did not phase Emma.
‘He distracted me from the pain and was just concerned for me, mainly. Latterly I don’t think it has phased him – he loves his new baby sister and was happy to be in a train station as he loves trains!’
Emma, at 38 weeks two days into her pregnancy, delivered her baby within ten minutes of entering the women’s toilets at Britomart train station. She was surrounded by student nurse Ashley Lang, members of the general public, Auckland Transport security, a husband (on the phone to 111) and her two-year-old.
Already a mum to Luke, Emma knew the signs of labour and that birth was underway. For first-time mums, the situation would have been quite different.
‘I think the main thing is to remain calm and follow your instincts, your body knows what to do, so just go with it.’
We spoke to Midwife Sharon Weir, who has been delivering babies since 1982 and asked her…
What to do if it happens to you
- If it’s your second pregnancy, it’s easy to think that your second birth will be much like your first, which can throw people off. Look upon your birth plan as more of a wish list, so you are prepared for it not to go the way you thought
- Listen to your body, it knows what to do
- Keep your baby warm, skin to skin contact is really important, put your baby underneath your top, call 111 and ask them to bring blankets
- Don’t panic, unless there’s a lot of blood
- Keep strangers away
- Don’t cut the cord unnecessarily, keep attached to your baby as long as possible
- Babies are designed to be exposed to bacteria from the bowel, so don’t worry if the environment is not entirely clean
- If you have other children, particularly in this case, it’s a good biology lesson. They also adjust quickly as Mummy doesn’t go away.
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