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Woman gives birth in car during rush hour

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SITTING in rush hour traffic is stressful enough at the best of times but one mother has told of the moment she gave birth in her car while stuck in congestion on Tuesday.

Maciek and Marzena Zabek with their baby boy, who was born at 8.45 am yesterday at the western end of the Tunnel. They are pictured with ambulance paramedic and operations manager Gordon Hunt, who arrived after the birth took place in the family’s car Picture: TONY PIKE (19918510)

Marzena Zabek (31) went into labour in the morning but her son – who has not yet been named – decided not to wait until she arrived at the Hospital to make an appearance and instead came into the world at about 8.45 am on Route de la Libération.

Ms Zabek and her partner, Maciek, said that their 7-lb son’s arrival was so unusual that when they phoned their family in Poland to tell them they did not believe them.

She said: ‘Around 7 am I felt contractions as Maciek was getting ready to go to work. He starts at 7.30 am and I told him I was just going to get a quick shower.

'He left for work and then 15 minutes later I had to call him because the contractions were coming on really strong. My daughter was just waking up when Maciek came back from work. We took my daughter to my brother’s wife, who lives next door.

‘At about 8.10 am we got in the car and started to make our way to the Hospital. I told Maciek I didn’t want it to happen because my last birth had taken so long.

‘Just before we got to Georgetown my waters broke. I took my trousers off and Maciek carried on driving to the Hospital.’

As the couple, who are also parents to a 20-month old girl called Zuzanna, drove through the Tunnel their baby boy started to appear.

Mr Zabek pulled over and put his hazard lights on while his partner pushed just twice before their newborn arrived in the front seat of their Mitsubishi.

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He said: ‘It was stressful because Marzena was shouting “Quicker! Quicker!” The road was so busy because it was rush hour.

‘I picked up the baby and wiped his mouth to make sure he was breathing and then the paramedic arrived.’

Mrs Zabek said: ‘I was so tired and I was in so much shock that I don’t really remember much about it. I remember cars passing and that the drivers must have been thinking, ‘‘What is going on?’’

‘Last time, when I gave birth to my daughter I was so exhausted. It was about 14 hours long – this time I did everything in two hours.’

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First on the scene was Ambulance Services operations manager Gordon Hunt, who was driving to work in a fast-response vehicle when a member of the public flagged him down.

Mr Hunt, who thought at first their had been a crash, said it was the first time he has ever seen a baby delivered in a car and praised the fast actions of the parents and members of the public.

‘Mum did a really good job,’ he said. ‘I went to check on Mum when I arrived and the baby was doing OK. Mum and Dad had done all the work. We just needed to make sure the baby was OK and get them in a warm ambulance.

‘Everything had been done perfectly and it was great to see a healthy little baby and happy parents.

‘There may have been some extra traffic during rush hour but we think it’s a worthwhile delay and it was great to have support from members of the public.’

The family were due to return home last night and have two names they are considering for their newborn.

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