Most mums-to-be spend a fair chunk of their ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ wistfully imagining their baby’s birth – the soothing music, the calming massage and ᴘᴀɪɴ ʀᴇʟɪᴇꜰ just a scream away. But this gutsy Queensland mum unexpectedly welcomed her daughter on the side of a dusty highway.
In one of the most Aussie birth stories you’re ever likely to hear, Lydia Kirk ended up giving birth on a makeshift bed on the Bruce Highway last week, somewhere between Bowen and Proserpine with a local property owner acting as nurse. The mum-of-one thought she had plenty of time to make it to the hospital, after a long first ʟᴀʙᴏᴜʀ. But her little girl had other plans.
Chris Broucek was rushing his partner Lydia Kirk, from Bowen, to Proserpine Hospital on October 6 when Ms Kirk noticed her daughter was beginning to crown. Lydia explained her hometown of Bowen has no ʙɪʀᴛʜɪɴɢ sᴜɪᴛᴇ, so she knew she and her ꜰɪᴀɴᴄᴇ́ Chris Broucek had a 70km drive ahead of them. The now mother-of-two told: “I said to Chris ‘I have to ᴘᴜsʜ, I have to ᴘᴜsʜ!’ and he’s like ‘no you don’t!’ Before we started heading to Proserpine Hospital we went to Bowen Hospital where our ᴍɪᴅᴡɪꜰᴇ told us we were four centimetres ᴅɪʟᴀᴛᴇᴅ and needed to start heading down to Proserpine. We were about halfway into our drive and I said to my ꜰɪᴀɴᴄᴇ́ that I needed to ᴘᴜsʜ. He told me, ‘I don’t think so’! I ᴘᴜsʜed about three times and said to him, ‘I can feel a bulge, Chris, I can feel her head’.”
Lydia says that’s when Chris swung into action and called tʀɪᴘle zero, but little Layla was already well on the way. She said: “We were still driving when she was ᴅᴇʟɪᴠᴇʀᴇᴅ and I brought her up onto my chest. He had to tear my ᴜɴᴅᴇʀᴡᴇᴀʀ off with his hands because I had to pull them to the side when she came out.” The couple then pulled over and followed the directions from the ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ operator on the phone, which including laying on the side of the road because Lydia’s seat wouldn’t recline thanks to the car seats in the back. Lydia added: “A local property owner stopped and brought us some towels while we waited for the ᴀᴍʙᴜʟᴀɴᴄᴇ. Once the ᴀᴍʙᴜʟᴀɴᴄᴇ arrived they made sure both Layla and I were safe and okay, ᴄʟᴀᴍᴘᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ and got Chris to ᴄᴜᴛ ʜᴇʀ ᴄᴏʀᴅ.”
Ms Kirk said she held Layla close as Mr Broucke called 000. He said paramedics told him to lay his ꜰɪᴀɴᴄᴇ́e down but he was unable to recline the front passenger seat in their car all the way down because of baby seats in the back. Mr Broucek said: “But I had a ɴᴜʀsᴇ’s ᴋɪᴛ and some blankets and I made a makeshift bed on the side of the road. I couldn’t remove the baby because of the ᴄᴏʀᴅ, I didn’t have my Lᴇᴀᴛʜᴇʀᴍᴀɴ or ᴋɴɪꜰᴇ and had to ʀɪᴘ the jocks off with my hands because they were expecting the afterbirth to keep coming out.”
Ms Kirk, who also has a two and a half-year-old son with Mr Broucek, said her first birth was also quick and she believed the second time would be no different. An ᴀᴍʙᴜʟᴀɴᴄᴇ arrived to meet the couple on the side of the road to make sure Layla was ok. Paramedics helped Mr Broucek ᴄᴜᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ as his wife lay on a makeshift bed on the grass. Lydia said: “Not a lot was going through my mind except wondering if Layla was okay and healthy – she came so quickly that I was in a state of sʜᴏᴄᴋ to be honest. I’m just glad I had Chris with me because he took over the situation and made sure everything was okay.”