A mum gave birth to her first child in the back of a car after getting caught in traffic on the school run.
Vicki Millward’s husband Christopher pulled over onto a grass verge in Hale, Greater Manchester, for the emergency delivery of their baby Claudia Elsie.
Vicki, 34, said she gave birth to Claudia within 10 seconds of Christopher moving the car seats forward.
The couple, who live in Sale, Trafford, had practised the drive from their home to Wythenshawe Hospital, which is only five minutes away, in the run up to the birth.
But it took far longer than expected when they left their home at 8.10am during rush hour and the school run.
Christopher, 33, was able to park his Mercedes GLC up on the road side just in time to jump out of the car, move the baby’s car seat which was in place ready for their return journey, and get Vicki a little bit more space on the back seats ready for the delivery.
Within minutes, their beautiful baby daughter had arrived.
Vicki said: “At any normal time of day the journey would only be five minutes down the road but with rush hour and everyone going to school it was manic.
“I could feel the head coming out as we were driving along and I said to Christopher I don’t think I can wait any longer.
“He managed to get the car off Shaftesbury Avenue and on to Thornley Lane on a grass verge. The car seat was already set up in the car, so he had pull it out and move the seats forward and within ten seconds she literally just came out on the back seat, I didn’t even push! I was in a bit of a state of shock I think.
“The car doors were open so if anyone was passing by at that time they must have had a right eyeful.
“I was in a bit of a dream at that stage. We weren’t there for that long, she started crying straight away and I was able to put her on my chest and we kept her warm with a coat.
“It was funny though because, as babies do, she then decided to poop everywhere, all over the car. The car is my husband’s pride and joy so it’s fair to say he’s done a fair few deep cleans since she arrived.”
Vicki and Christopher are professional dance champions and run the renowned Cadmans Dance Centre in Sale.
Friends and relatives think it could be Vicki’s dance training that helped push Claudia along so swiftly – and ensured the tot did her very own quick step into the world.
Vicki said: “I was still doing my online Fitsteps dance classes up to a week before my due date, so a few people have said it could be all the dancing and jiggling I’ve been doing that helped her along.”
Vicki’s contractions started the night before – March 23 – which was her baby’s due date, but they were mild so at 10pm she decided to try and get some sleep.
By the next morning the contractions were more intense and Vicki contacted her sister Tracey, who is a doula, and who she had always planned to attend the birth with her.
Vicki used hypnobirthing techniques that Tracey had taught her in the lead up to labour to help manage the contractions in the early stages.
Vicki added: “By the time Tracey got to our house the contractions were so intense and at 8am I said to Christopher we need to get to hospital. We contacted the maternity unit at Wythenshawe and said we were on our way. But obviously we didn’t make it there on time.”
With Tracy also in the car to witness the birth and give her support, after the birth they contacted Wythenshawe to let them know that baby had arrived en route, and the midwives were waiting for them with warm towels when they finally got to the hospital.
Claudia was assessed and weighed at a healthy 6lb 15oz and the new family were able to return home the same day.
Vicki said: “They’ve advised me that if I have another baby it would probably be worth considering a home birth – or getting the hospital very early next time. For her place of birth they put ‘in transit’, but we’re not sure if that’s what it will say on her birth certificate.”
Friends and family were stunned to hear of the unexpected delivery.
Vicki laughed: “Someone said we should have called her Mercedes after the car. People can’t quite believe it when we tell them how she arrived, it will be a good story to tell her one day.”