When she caught a cab to the hospital, Stephanie Lynch, 26, from York, ended up having the ride of her life…
You could say I was a pro – after three babies, I knew what to expect with labour.
‘This birth should be a breeze,’ I told my partner Stephen, 34, stroking my bump.
It was March this year and I was due any day.
Our kids – Charlie, seven, Alfie, six, and Amelia, one – were so excited about their new sibling.
And when my waters broke on 3 March, I wasn’t worried.
‘We’ve still got a few more hours yet,’ I told Stephen – after all, I knew the drill by now.
But we phoned the hospital anyway to let them know.
As time ticked by, I started getting cramps.
I phoned the hospital again and they told me to come in.
York Hospital was only a 15-minute drive away.
I still thought I had plenty of time, so I asked Stephen to call me a cab. My gran, Kathleen, 68, came over to watch the children.
And when the cab arrived, me, Stephen and my mum Claire, 46, piled in to the back.
‘The hospital please,’ I told the cabbie.
But just as we pulled away, my contractions started – thick and fast!
‘I don’t think I’m going to make it,’ I gasped to Mum.
I could already feel the baby’s head!
‘Pull over!’ I said with a groan. ‘I’m about to give birth!’ Stephen went white with shock. We were only two minutes from home, and would never make it to the hospital in time.
The cab driver swiftly pulled into a nearby hotel car park.
‘I’m sorry!’ I said. ‘I’m going to have this baby in your car!’
I was mortified, but he was absolutely amazing.
‘Don’t worry!’ he laughed. They both jumped out and Stephen called 999. The cabbie introduced himself as Mark Kermode.
Mum whipped off my pyjama bottoms and knickers and said she could see the baby’s head.
‘You can do this,’ she said. ‘Just breathe.’
It all happened so quickly.
And seconds later, Mum was holding my baby girl, Evie!
Panting with exhaustion, I listened out for her cry. But there wasn’t one.
My baby’s cord was around her neck and she was going blue.
Terrified, Stephen spoke to the 999 operator and dictated to Mum what to do.
Mum stayed calm as she carefully unwrapped the cord and placed Evie on her back.
Suddenly, little Evie let out a loud cry and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Thankfully, paramedics arrived a few minutes later and rushed us to hospital.
Baby Evie weighed in at a very healthy 6lb 4oz.
As a precaution, Evie and I were both kept in the hospital overnight.
But when we got back home the following day, the kids were thrilled to see her.
‘Did you really give birth in the taxi, Mum?’ Charlie asked.
‘Yes!’ I laughed, feeling a bit embarrassed about it all. He thought it was cool, though. Now, whenever people visit us, he takes great pleasure in telling them the story.
‘Baby Evie was born in a cab!’ he says, giggling.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to live it down.
I’ve since visited the cab firm with Evie and thanked Mark for everything he did.
I bet that’s one ride that he’ll never forget.
My baby girl certainly knows how to make a memorable entrance!
We weren’t going to make it
It’s a brilliant story to tell!