Woman gives birth in car next to Otago highway as frantic rush to hospital falls short

Things got real for two new parents as their baby decided he was ready to be delivered in the middle of an Otago highway.

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Luckily, Daniel and Saskia had their midwife, Lynda, on hand. Source: Seven Sharp

Daniel Hopper and Saskia Hulsbosch were as prepared as new parents can be for a new arrival.

“We had the nursery fully set up about a month before he was born. It was all ready to go,” Daniel told Seven Sharp.

The couple's midwife, Lynda Baker, agreed.

“Dan and Saskia had done everything to get ready for this baby. They were textbook.”

But all that went out the window in the early hours of Saturday morning.

“I woke Dan up and said, ‘It's happening,’ and it went from there. It didn’t really slow down. The contractions came on top of each other,” Saskia said.

With things going from zero to 100, midwife Lynda – who was with them - said it was time to go to the hospital.

“Because of the remoteness of the area we're in, we do future proof it a bit - we always travel in convoy,” Lynda said.

Daniel described the intense dash to the hospital.

“It felt like the longest drive ever from where we got to - it was raining, I was trying to drive carefully and trying to keep her as calm as possible.

“We got to just before Cromwell and her waters broke and the midwife checked her and said we’ve still got enough time and we kept going, but she said to me, ‘If it gets worse, we'll pull over again.’”

Eventually they were forced to pull over into a picnic area as time ran out.

“I managed to get a picnic blanket around the passenger seat of the car and we positioned Saskia in a way that I had access to the place where babies come and she was supported on the other side by Dan,” Lynda said.

Twelve minutes later, baby Lennix Hopper was brought into the world.

“I did want a natural birth - can’t get any more natural than that,” Saskia said.

The couple know how lucky they are and now share a lovely bond with Lynda.

“It is my first in such a rural location. I’m used to babies being born in the hospital carpark or the hospital door, but it was my first in such a remote area,” the midwife said.