Needless drama in ambulance ride during labour

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 October, 2015, 12:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 October, 2015, 12:02am

My daughter's first birthday is approaching and it has led me to reflect on the past year: Her transition from a newborn to infant, starting solid foods, socialising at play dates, finding more interest in gadgets rather than any age-appropriate toys and sounding like Chewbacca from Star Wars in every attempt to communicate.

All sounds like regular textbook stuff but her progress is significant to me, because of her arrival into this world. I was fortunate to have a low-risk pregnancy and I was having lunch with a friend, when my waters broke and labour started very quickly.

This was my second pregnancy and having had a natural water birth the first time round, I recognised the labour symptoms. My contractions were so fast that we telephoned an ambulance, thinking it to be the safest and most efficient way to get to hospital. My experience was to the contrary.

Once inside the ambulance, I expected to be rushed to hospital. Shockingly, the red light didn't force cars to give way. I had two paramedics who were unaware of the hospital address. I was asked whether I was in pain but offered no pain relief.

When I tried to explain I was actively in birth and needed to be helped onto all fours, I was told to lie down, a position that defies gravity when you have a baby working its way down your body.

Furthermore, we sat in heavy traffic along Bonham, Caine and Robinson roads and all the way up to Cotton Tree Drive. Occupy Central it may be known as but the impact on road traffic reached well beyond.

Fifty minutes into an hour's journey my daughter was born in the back of the ambulance along Mount Kellet Road.

At times the ride was bumpy and I had prayed my baby would wait but she chose her moment 12 days early.

The experience reinforces for me the necessity for every baby to be born in a safe place, and the importance of choice.

I suggest the arrangement of the Fire Services Department providing emergency ambulance services be reviewed.

I would also urge everyone to give way to a red light ambulance.

Cassy Bygrave, Pok Fu Lam