“MUM, his head is out!” Kloe Anderson cried from the back seat, the family car hurtling down Kwinana Freeway, as her baby decided he wasn’t waiting for a hospital delivery.
It was 5.45am Tuesday August 25, and the 26-year-old first-time mum had thought, after contractions started a few hours earlier, that with Fiona Stanley Hospital a mere eight minutes by car from her South Lake home she’d have plenty of time.
But baby Mason had other plans: dad Joshua Cuthbert hastily pulled over while new nana Cheryl Anderson showed wicket-keeping skills the Aussie Test team could find handy.
“I had to fly around and grab his little head,” nana told the Herald.
That’s when she noticed the umbilical cord still wrapped around her newborn grandson’s neck.
“Kloe said ‘mum, he’s gurgling,” Ms Anderson recalls.
The cord was unwrapped but the trio decided to leave Mason, now hugging his mum’s chest, connected to Kloe’s placenta while they resumed a mad two-minute dash to the hospital.
“A nurse came out with a wheelchair and I said ‘that’s not going to work, the baby is still attached’,” Ms Anderson said.
Seconds later a team of medicos with a trolley and an array of machinery had the situation under control and mum and baby were whisked off to maternity.
“The doctor nicknamed him Freeway,” Ms Anderson laughs.
In all the excitement, and knowing the hospital was literally two minutes away, an attempt to sever the cord wasn’t an option: “I never gave it a thought…I had nothing to cut with and would have had to chew it,” Ms Anderson grimaced. “We were lucky to have something to wrap him in.”
Hailing from NSW, and only in WA for her grandson’s birth, she reckons it was a good thing she was on hand: “I came a long way to catch this baby.”
by JENNY D’ANGER