Megan Doherty July 13, 2012
Two Canberra babies born in their family car at the same intersection... Sarah Yap (left) of Harrison with her daughter Audrey born August 12, 2011 and Erin Hayes of Franklin with daughter Chelsea, born on Thursday morning. Photo: Karleen Minney
They're going to have to start calling it The GDE Club - two babies born near the same Gungahlin Drive Extension off-ramp virtually a year apart.
Chelsea Bree Hayes was born at 12.40pm yesterday - July 12 - while her parents were stuck on a red light at the GDE off-ramp to Belconnen Way enroute to Calvary Hospital.
Mum Erin was in the back seat on her knees looking over to the boot while her husband Gavin was driving. In the end, it took just two pushes and Chelsea was born.
"I had my tracky dacks down to my knees and I'd been mooning who knows how many people on the way," Mrs Hayes said, with a laugh.
Almost a year earlier, on August 12, 2011, Audrey Claire Yap was born on nearby Haydon Drive, also enroute to Calvary Hospital after going down the same off-ramp. Her mother Sarah gave birth at 8.20am in the front passenger seat as her mother drove and her then two-year-old son Shaun was strapped in the back seat. The family had been stuck in morning peak-hour traffic on the GDE before finally getting to the off-ramp.
The mothers joke they are now part of a special club.
"Not that I'd recommend it to anyone," Mrs Hayes, 28, said. "But what a club to be part of."
The mothers shared their war stories today as Mrs Hayes recovered at home in Franklin, electing to leave hospital after just one night and go home to be with Gavin and their 20-month-old toddler Madison.
Mrs Hayes said she felt her first contraction at home at 11.30am yesterday, one day after Chelsea's due date.
She called her husband at work at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Belconnen at 11.50am asking him to come home. She also had to wait for her mother to arrive to look after Madison.
By the time the couple were on the GDE, the baby was well and truly on her way.
"We were on the GDE and had just got to Canberra Stadium and I said, 'I have to push, I have to push' and my husband was like, 'Yeah, don't push'," Mrs Hayes said.
"Just after the stadium, the head came out and I said, 'I've got the head'."
His thoughts? "This can't be good.," Mr Hayes said.
They got a red light on the off-ramp and Mrs Hayes gave a second push and "she was out".
She held the baby in her knees, cradling it in the crutch of her tracksuit pants because she didn't want to rupture the umbilical cord.
When they got to Calvary Hospital, an ambulance had just arrived and Mr Hayes, 28, quickly told the paramedics what had happened, the officers jumping to action to help mum and bub.
"We didn't think two pushes and she'd be out," Mr Hayes said.
It was all bringing back some familiar memories for Mrs Yap, of Harrison.
Her husband, Will Freebairn, was at work when her contractions started, she and her mother leaving the family home just 25 minutes before Audrey was born and facing some fearful moments as they were stuck in traffic on the GDE.
It was also her second child, son Shaun now three.
"The stories are almost identical," Ms Yap, 34, said.
And they share similar thoughts on what will happen if they decide to go for baby No.3.
"We will, but just camp out at the hospital two days before," Mrs Hayes said.
Mrs Yap agreed: "My obstetrician said you better go to a hospital a week before you're due".
And what did the Hayes' want to know of Ms Yap?
"Did you keep the car?" Mrs Hayes asked.
Ms Yap did, which put Mrs Hayes at ease.
"We'll probably just go and get it a bit detailed," she said, with a laugh.