Monday 20 November 2017

Baby girl born in family car minutes from maternity hospital

Baby Orlagh McCann made a dramatic and miraculous arrival into the world Photo: Domnick Walsh / Eye
Baby Orlagh McCann made a dramatic and miraculous arrival into the world Photo: Domnick Walsh / Eye
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

She was the little girl who just couldn't wait to be born - arriving in the family car just minutes from the maternity hospital.

Orlagh McCann was delivered safely by her mum, Stacey Heffernan, in the front passenger seat, weighing in at 6lbs and 13oz, as dad Johnny sped towards the hospital.

"I was saying to him, 'The baby is coming. You'll have to stop the car'. But I dont' think he realised the baby was actually physically coming that second," Stacey (37) told the Irish Independent.

The couple's journey began at home in Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick last Saturday when Stacey felt she was going into labour.

She rang Kerry General Hospital to let them no but says at that stage there was "no sense of panic".

The couple also has a little boy, Eoghan (2), who was left at home with his granny Noreen, as they began the 40km journey to Tralee, making one stop on the way to get petrol.

The closer they got to Tralee, Stacey realised she was in trouble and might not make it to the hospital on time.

"I kept on thinking, 'How am I going to physically do this? Do I push or not?" she added.

She said her handbag and mobile phone were not nearby so she couldn't even ring the hospital for advice.

"Then nature just takes over and your body tells you what to do and the baby just starting pushing herself."

Johnny (37) did not realise how serious the situation was until he actually saw his infant daughter on her mother's leg.

 "I just leaned on Johnny physically, using my other hand to catch the baby as she came out. I don't know how he didn't crash the car. I'll never forget the look on his face," she recalled.

Stacey's partner reassured her the baby was crying but she said she couldn't relax until she had been properly checked out at the hospital.

"Johnny ran into the A&E shouting for help while I waited in the car with the baby. I don't know how long we were there but it felt like forever.

"My main thing was for someone to take her, make her warm and tell me she was ok. That was the longest part and it felt like a lifetime.

"I kept on saying, 'Dear God, will someone just take the baby and check her out'."

Stacey said it was only when little Orlagh was safely installed in the maternity unit that both relief and shock set in.

Now, with baby Orlagh safely home, she says she's settling in well.

"We're blessed. She's absolutely perfect and healthy. It's just a miracle," her mum added.

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