How I gave birth in the car
We were expecting our second child – we already had a daughter of two-and-a-half. Both my pregnancies went really well – I felt absolutely brilliant.
Our first daughter was born three weeks early, and the whole thing took just five hours from the time my waters broke. So of course I was pretty nervous about giving birth the second time.
Could that have been the mucus plug?
The baby was due on 17 July. On 10 July, we headed for the clinic of obstetrics and gynaecology in Malmö, which was just over 20 kilometres away. And at that time everything was peace and quiet in my tummy. Everything looked fine, but I was barely dilated so all we could do was to wait. On 12 July, I woke up with stomach cramps and there was mucus and blood in the toilet. Could that have been the mucus plug?
Also read! Born too soon
I phoned the clinic and told them what happened the first time I gave birth. They told me I should time the pains and then go in when they were about five or six minutes apart. I checked them, and they were about 10 or 11 minutes apart. So my daughter and I went for a lie-down.
The baby’s on the way
But then suddenly, something woke me up. I phoned my partner and cried. “It really hurts, you have to come home,” I said. “The baby’s on the way.”
It took my partner 15 minutes to get home. I could barely stand by the time he walked in the door. “We’ll never make it in time,” I said.
We’d just joined the motorway when I screamed at my partner that the head was coming.
Giving birth on the motorway
I dialled 112. “I’m giving birth, and we won’t make it to the hospital in time!” My partner was already in the car and we were on our way to hospital.
The 112 call handler asked me whether my waters had broken. And at that precise moment, whoosh! That’s exactly what happened. And as soon as my waters had broken, that’s when I felt the first proper contraction.
Don’t miss! Our unplanned home birth
We’d just joined the motorway when I screamed at my partner that the head was coming. He had to stop! With the next contraction, the head was out.
Feeling a head between your legs when you’ve still got your trousers and pants on and you’re sitting in a cramped car with a huge car seat behind you – now that’s something to make you panic! I wasn’t at all worried about the fact I was about to give birth. All I could think was how the f*ck am I supposed to get my trousers off?
But the trousers came off and I held onto our baby’s head. When my partner pulled up and came round to my side of the car, that was when I felt the next contraction and the baby was born. He caught the baby and placed her on my tummy.
Two minutes later…
The time from my waters breaking to the baby lying on my tummy was about two minutes. The feeling of being half in, half out of a car on the motorway with your baby on your tummy – well, it’s completely impossible to describe. But I felt overjoyed, relief, happiness.
More to read: Birth stories – a dad’s perspective
The ambulance came and took us to hospital. When we got there, they told us we had a little girl. She was 48 cm long and weighed 3580 grams. She was absolutely perfect; she couldn’t have been any more perfect.
A lot of people asked us how we felt and whether it all came as a total shock to us. But that’s certainly not our view of it. In our case, everything went brilliantly. Everything went smoothly and it was all really easy, and we were both unharmed. Mother Nature is usually capable of sorting most things. We’re incredibly pleased and proud to have our daughter, who gave us something we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.
Get your birth story published in This is Life!
We’d love to hear your story. Please email us your birth story (max. 500 words) and at least one photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
We reserve the right to edit your text if we decide to publish it. Please note no remuneration is offered.
The members of our family are me and my partner, our daughter aged 3 and our 9-month-old daughter, and our dog Chico. We live in Svedala, just outside Malmö, in the house we bought when our elder daughter was just 5 months old.
Thoughts about giving birth in the car:
“We’re always talking about how our little girl Moa made her entrance into the world. We remember it all very fondly and it gives us a good laugh, but at the same time we can’t help but think ‘what if…?’ However, things went brilliantly well, and I’m so incredibly proud of my beautiful children and fantastic partner.”