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Rachel gives birth at side of road on Christmas Day

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26/12/1/4 - Mum & Dad at the CUMH with baby Sienna born Christmas Day to Matthew Cheung & Rachel Harte at the side of a road in Bandon Co. Cork after flagging down an ambulance on route to the CUMH Cork.

26/12/1/4 - Mum & Dad at the CUMH with baby Sienna born Christmas Day to Matthew Cheung & Rachel Harte at the side of a road in Bandon Co. Cork after flagging down an ambulance on route to the CUMH Cork.

26/12/1/4 - Mum & Dad at the CUMH with baby Sienna born Christmas Day to Matthew Cheung & Rachel Harte at the side of a road in Bandon Co. Cork after flagging down an ambulance on route to the CUMH Cork.

A BABY girl was born on the back seat of a car on Christmas Day when her parents could not reach the hospital on time.

Healthy baby Sienna, weighing 7lbs 5 ozs, was born on the side of the road in Bandon, Co Cork, to Rachel Harte (25) and Matthew Cheug (27).

But her arrival was not without high drama, and the couple paid tribute to the paramedics who rushed to the scene to make sure she was delivered safely.

The couple had made it roughly half the 70km distance from their Rosscarbery home to Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) when first-time mother Rachel realised they wouldn't reach the city in time.

She told her partner of four years to park the car just outside Bandon and that's where little Sienna was born.

amazed

Rachel was due to give birth on December 21 but there was no sign of her labour beginning.

She was scheduled to be induced on December 30 but suddenly started feeling uncomfortable on Christmas Eve.

"I thought I had a bug. At 7.30am on Christmas morning I was lying on the bathroom floor with pains and I called my mother to say I would not be visiting relatives as I had a bug," she said.

"Later that morning I realised it was more than a stomach bug and we got into the car."

Matthew and her father-in-law, Paul, jumped into a car and headed towards Cork city. However, the speed of the labour meant the family could not reach the hospital in time.

"My waters broke at 11.10am and just 15 minutes later I suddenly realised that the baby's head was coming," said Rachel.

"Luckily, Matthew and Paul had the presence of mind to ring ahead to the hospital and tell them we were coming.

"They sent an ambulance towards us when they realised the speed of the labour."

Remarkably, the couple parked their car and spotted an ambulance a short distance away.

They presumed it was the ambulance sent by CUMH to meet them - and were amazed by their luck when they discovered the paramedics were there tending to another patient.

When they realised the plight of the young couple, the paramedics immediately began to assist Rachel.

"The two female paramedics said they had never delivered a baby before but you would not think it because they were just incredible," she said.

Minutes after the birth, the CUMH ambulance arrived and, together with a garda escort, was able to rush Rachel, baby Sienna and the two emotionally-drained men to the hospital.

A relieved Matthew admitted that his biggest fear outside Bandon was that he would have to deliver his daughter himself.

"I'm just so glad those paramedics were there - it was a bit of a miracle that we spotted them in time," he said.

hnews@herald.ie


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