When you think about someone giving birth in the car, on the way to hospital, most women would imagine a pretty stressful, fear-inducing situation – and yet that’s not the way Katie describes the birth of her son Ralph – she describes his birth as ‘amazing’.

Katie came to my pregnancy yoga classes through both of her pregnancies and says they not only gave her a love for yoga but also an ‘inner confidence’, which she feels contributed to her two great births.

Thank you so much Katie for allowing me to share your wonderful birth story and photo. I’m so honoured to have been able to help you feel confident in your innate ability to give birth – so you didn’t panic, or doubt yourself when baby Ralph started to make an early appearance – you were amazing!

Baby Ralph’s birth in the car

First of all, a big thanks for all of your help and advice, not only during the last few months, but also with the birth of my first child. I learnt so much from your classes and discovered a new love for yoga. I developed an inner confidence, and this was the reason I had two such amazing births. 

Baby Ralph Marley Anthony Towler arrived on 10th July (at 40 weeks 9 days), at 9.45pm. He weighed 6lbs 14ozs. We are all well and once again adjusting to life with a newborn baby.

I was 40 weeks and 8 days pregnant when the midwife offered me a sweep. I had two sweeps with my first pregnancy so was happy to agree to one this time. That evening I experienced mild cramps, but they completely disappeared by morning.

At 6pm, whilst cooking dinner, I began to experience cramps in my lower back, that I thought might be the start of labour. I wanted to keep busy so after dinner we decided to take my daughter out for a walk. By 7.30pm we had put my daughter to bed and we sat down to relax. The cramps were starting to get a bit more intense now but only lasted 40 seconds and were easily managed using the breathing techniques you teach in your class.

At 8.50pm we decided to call the hospital, warning the midwife that my first labour was very quick. She advised us to make our way to the hospital. My first child was born in the corridor of the hospital, so we really wanted to get to the hospital earlier this time.

We left the house at 9.15pm, feeling excited and relaxed. Half way to the hospital my waters suddenly broke. There was a huge gush of water and I was left sitting in a puddle on the front seat! Immediately my surges stopped and my body went straight into pushing mode. We were five minutes from the hospital when the baby’s head was crowning. I asked my husband to call the hospital, as I wasn’t sure I’d be able to walk from the car. 

When we arrived at the hospital and my husband jumped out to find the midwife. At this point I had a quick feel down below and to my surprise I felt something squidgy, not the hard back of a head. 

Three midwives then appeared at the kerbside with a wheelchair. I was told that the baby would need to be delivered in the car. I moved position, as I felt uncomfortable sitting on the front seat, I leaned across the centre console, immediately feeling one last push and my baby arrived, face first (which explained the squidgy feeling!) and back-to-back.

Our son was wrapped in a towel and we were transferred to a wheelchair and pushed into the birth centre. Once in the room the placenta was delivered and the towel was removed from the baby for skin-to-skin contact. Once the cord had stopped pulsating, my husband cut it.

I was really shaking at this point, I think I was in shock from the fast delivery. The midwives dimmed the lights and left my husband and I alone for twenty minutes with our new baby boy.

We stayed the night in the Birth Centre and were discharged the next morning, luckily my husband was allowed to stay with us. He was only allowed to leave the room to get our bags. Although all of the staff were wearing masks and our temperatures were regularly checked, Covid-19 did not interfere with our birth experience.

We chose the birth centre at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital, Hammersmith to have our baby. Sienna was born there too and we know and trust the hospital. 

My husband is a huge car enthusiast so he is very proud of the fact that his son was born in a car! Weirdly, he was worried my waters might break in the car so had bought car seat protectors beforehand. Once the protectors were removed you would never know that a baby had been delivered there!

Thank you again Donna, your classes and advice were invaluable. 

Katie x