Our baby was born in the car

Despite driving like a maniac, dad couldn't get to the hospital in time...


Reinhard Struve tells the birth story of his daughter: ‘Lara Estrella Struve was born at 7.35am in the front seat of our little red Toyota Yaris, at the corner of Druids Ave and Adelaide Rd, Mt Barker in Australia.


Five more minutes to the hospital, but we just didn’t quite make it!

At 3.30am Naomi reassured me that everything was fine and she did not wish to get to the hospital too early to hang around there and just waste everybody’s time. Instead she suggested watching some DVDs. “Fine”, I thought, “the woman would know best what needs to be done, what’s going on in her body and how far advanced the labour process is”, so I sat down and watched a tacky movie of Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

I decided to skip the next tacky movie about three estranged brothers on a trip through India. Having already had one child in 2005, I figured it would be better to get as much rest as possible for the exhausting hours in hospital ahead of us.

I decided to have another hour of sleep, breakfast, quick checking of emails, and a good cup of coffee. Alas, when I finished the coffee I heard screams from downstairs, as very suddenly the contractions had increased in intensity and the waters had broken while I checked my emails.

By now, Naomi was far from reluctant about going to the hospital too early; instead she was yelling at me to get the hell going!

So here goes Reinhard on the freeway from Crafers to Mt Barker at Autobahn speed (I’m of German background). Even so, I did not realize the imminent need for urgency.

Naomi was screaming like hell that the baby is coming, but I thought: “Surely, they always scream like hell and tell you that the baby is coming, but then it takes another four or five hours. That’s how it was last time, no difference now.” Little did I know…

At Mount Barker, coming off the freeway, the traffic light was red, giving me a first opportunity to take my focus away from the road. I took a glance at what Naomi was up to (besides screaming). Boy, was I surprised to see a head popping out between Naomi’s legs!

That’s when it hit me that I was in trouble! But by the time we reached the second set of traffic lights, Naomi (who had urged me to keep driving) was suddenly holding the whole bloomin’ baby in her hands!

How she did it on the front seat by herself without dropping the baby on the floor is still a mystery to me.

By now I thought it would be a really good idea to pull over, which I did. As a clueless father, I immediately knew what to do: get hot water, towels, hold the baby upside-down and hit it on the bum. All rubbish: the baby had already started crying, Naomi seemed to be a lot more relieved and suggested that I should keep driving at safe speed.

The remaining five minutes to the hospital are hardly worth mentioning, other than a very shaky Reinhard having trouble getting the message across to the hospital staff that I had a mother with a new baby (a very new baby!) in the car and finding someone to give me a hand with getting them out.

The result: Both Naomi and Lara are fine…and the inside of the car is a mess!


The photo shows a happy Naomi in the front seat when we pulled into Mt Barker hospital.’

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