MATERNAL instinct kicked in when Lucia Kunova delivered her own baby daughter into the world, giving birth in a moving car as it negotiated the McLaren roundabout on the way to St Peter’s Hospital.
Lucia had woken at 5am on Tuesday morning last week feeling some mild pain and contacted the maternity ward. They advised her to monitor her baby’s movements and head towards the hospital if her waters broke. With the baby not due for three weeks, Lucia wasn’t too worried.
“But at 5.40am, the pain started to increase, really increase,” she said, as she and her husband Rajab realised she was going into labour. Gathering some things, they set off from their Woking home in Walton Court at 6.01am.
At 6.05am, as they were approaching the McLaren roundabout, Lucia, who was sitting upright in the front seat with her seatbelt on, felt the pressure mounting.
“I was shouting ‘it’s too much pain, I can’t take it anymore. The baby’s coming! The baby’s coming!’”
Rajab started hooting and attempted to overtake cars to get to the hospital quicker, Lucia said, but she knew they would not reach St Peter’s in time. The mother of two girls realised she was going to have to deliver her third child by herself.
“My husband was doing what he could, the car was speeding and going round the corner, but none of that mattered.”
Lucia couldn’t get the seat flat while still wearing her seat belt, but with the pain building she pressed ahead, pushing through the contractions and gently delivering her baby girl in a matter of seconds, all while Rajab continued around the roundabout.
Stopping was out of the question and Rajab rushed towards the hospital, Lucia cradling their new-born daughter on her chest.
“We got to A&E and everyone came running out, they were really good. The staff were amazing, they really helped a lot,” she said.
Hospital staff parked the car for the new parents, placing a note on the windshield to make sure they didn’t receive a fine for no parking ticket.
The healthy newborn, who weighed in at 6.1lbs, has been given the name Nur, meaning ‘light’.
Rajab was very proud of his wife and her coolness under pressure, describing the experience as “quick and unexpected”. Lucia said modestly: “There was that natural instinct, you have to protect the child.”
The couple have some experience at quick and unusual labour, with their second child born in a hospital wheelchair after going to the wrong floor and not being able to reach the delivery room. “We have been joking that we can’t have a fourth child,” Lucia smiled. “With the second born in a wheelchair, the third now born on the way to the hospital, the fourth would likely be born just outside the front door.”