ACT News

Driving Miss Maisie: parents deliver baby on Gungahlin Drive roadside

When little Maisie Bowyer decided it was time to enter the world a week after her due date, she wasn't prepared to wait - not even for an ambulance. 

Her mother Calli Bowyer went into labour in the early hours of Saturday November 15 and was being driven to hospital by husband Chris, when she realised Maisie was not going to wait. 

Calli and Chris Bowyer with 2-week-old Maisie, who was born on the side of Gunghalin Drive, reunite with their paramedic ...
Calli and Chris Bowyer with 2-week-old Maisie, who was born on the side of Gunghalin Drive, reunite with their paramedic helpers. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Mr Bowyer immediately pulled over on Gungahlin Drive, near the Barton Highway, and called triple-zero. 

"Dad was in denial but I was a bit more 'it's happening, can you please stop the car'," Mrs Bowyer said. 

"We stayed home for the initial labour but unfortunately it transitioned really quickly into a final stage. We were on the way to the hospital and made it about five or ten minutes down the road when everything started kicking in." 

While on the phone with ambulance call-taker, Mathew Davis, Mr Bowyer delivered the baby before intensive care paramedics Richard Forshaw and Nathan Lowe even reached the scene. 

Mr Bowyer said his instincts kicked in when he realised his daughter was about to arrive.

"I think you just react to what's happening in front of you and as long as mum's okay and bub's coming out and doing what it should be doing, it was all good," he said. 

"Your first aid stuff kicks in and as long as they're breathing and moving and mum could tell me if she had pain... as long as she was okay. Bub had the cord caught around her neck, there was a bit of moment when I had a bit of a panic but she came out. She was crying and moving and I knew that we had enough time then for the ambulance to get there and by that time, she was suckling." 

Mr Bowyer said just knowing Mr Davis was on the other end of the line and paramedics were on their way was reassuring.

"Just knowing they were there was good and that if something was going to go wrong, then they had that knowledge to be able to tell us what to do," he said.

On Friday, Mr Forshaw, Mr Lowe and Mr Davis were reunited with the Bowyers in less stressful circumstances. 

Mr Forshaw said Mr Bowyer's baby delivering skills were "10 out of 10". 

"Chris did a fantastic job. On our arrival, Chris was standing beside the car, gave us a wave, bub was delivered and having a feed already and he was cool as a cucumber," he said. 

"In ambulance [work], we do have a tendency to see the more sobering moments in the community and to finish off your night shift with the birth of a child is as good as it gets." 

For Mr Davis, it was about the fifth baby he has helped deliver over the phone in his three years in the job. 

"[Chris] didn't have any problems and needed very little direction from me and was able to solve any problems that arose," he said. 

"It was very quick from telling me the baby was coming to the actual birth." 

Maisie is the Bowyers' second child and they admit son Thomas' birth was not nearly as dramatic.

"She wanted to get one up on her big brother I think and hold it against him in later life," Mr Bowyer said.