Most Read

News

Mom Recounts Dramatic Moment She Gave Birth In The Passenger Seat Of A Car On New Year's Eve Going 70mph Down A Country Lane

Family selfie (PA Real Life/Collect)

Labor is tough! Particularly in the back of a car. A young mom has re-lived the dramatic moment on New Year's Eve when she gave birth in the passenger seat of a Ford Focus.


Dan Hornsey was desperately trying to get his girlfriend, Amy Russell, to a hospital in Exeter, England, to have their baby.

“I told Dan I needed to take my trousers down," Russell said after her daughter decided to wait no longer.

Amy pregnant with Elsie (PA Real Life/Collect)

“He thought I was joking, but I felt like I had to push and you can't stop that from happening," she continued. “I knew whether we got to hospital or not that our baby was coming there and then!"

At that point they were closer to Tiverton and District Hospital, so they decided to try and make it there anyways.

Amy and Elsie (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I didn't stop or pull over, because I knew I was close to the hospital," Hornsey said. “I also knew I could get there before an ambulance would find us in the Devon lanes."

Then he glanced over and saw "a big, red, slimy ball" poking out between Amy's legs.

“I panicked a bit when I saw that and Amy told me it was the baby's head," he said. “It was crazy."

“I looked back at the road briefly and I then looked back to see Amy pulling Elsie out, which was when I realized she was delivering the baby herself. Amy was strapped in with a seatbelt, Elsie was lying on her lap and the umbilical cord was still attached, so I was really panicking."

Moments after birth (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I had my hand on the horn, the headlights flashing and when we got to the hospital, where nobody was expecting us because we were supposed to go to Exeter, I was about a meter away from driving through the front door!" He said.

Russell remembers waking up on the morning of December 31st, two days before her due date.

“It felt like I was having contractions but my waters hadn't broken, so I called the midwife who said everything was perfectly normal," she said.

Dan and Elsie (PA Real Life/Collect)

“She suggested I have a hot bath, which would either speed things up or slow things down, so I went to run it, but never actually had one," she continued.

Russell is also a mom to five-year-old Hope.

“I was just talking to Hope, nice and chilled, when Amy stuck her head around the door about 10 minutes in and said, 'Dan, I need to talk to you,'" he recalled.

Her water had not broken, but she knew she was in labor.

“I wasn't expecting to hear that, so that's probably when I felt the first small panic," said Hornsey.

“I called my dad, Dave, who picked Hope up to take her to Nana Cyndi's, then we phoned Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, where we were scheduled to give birth."

Amy, Elsie and Dan (PA Real Life/Collect)

“They asked how far away we were, and when we said a 40 or 50 minute drive, they said that was fine and I started packing the car, so we could drive there," he said.

“When I went back to the house, Amy was on all fours in the hallway having a bad contraction, but because she stayed so calm, so did I."

Dan and Amy (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I wasn't sure I would even make it to the car. How I got up off the floor and managed to get into the car I just don't know," she said.

“I knew I needed to make sure Dan was calm, so he could drive safely, though. And if there's one thing I learnt from this experience, it's that Dan is an excellent driver!"

Dan and Hope (PA Real Life/Collect)

The contractions were so painful they couldn't drive all the way to their planned hospital.

“Amy's contractions started getting stronger, more painful and more frequent, until she said to me, 'I don't think we're going to make it to Exeter,'" he said.

Leaving hospital (PA Real Life/Collect)

“A bit of panic started kicking in and I began driving faster, then taking the fork in the road to Tiverton, not Exeter, as it's nearer," he continued.

“The lanes are windy and full of potholes, so poor Amy was being bumped around. At that moment, I turned into Lewis Hamilton. My adrenaline was rushing, but I still wasn't freaking out."

Hope, Elsie and Dan (PA Real Life/Collect)

The birth was a different experience altogether.

“I had put my hands down to see what was happening, because in one of the last scans, Elsie had been lying sideways," Russell said.

“Now, one of my main worries, was what would happen if she did not come out head first."

Moments after birth (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I was expecting to feel hair if it was her head, because we'd seen on the scans that she had a lot of hair, but I couldn't feel any," she added.

“Instead, she felt slimy, so I thought, 'Oh my God, she's come out breech!' I looked and saw the top of her ear, so realized she was coming out still in the amniotic sac, which didn't burst until her elbows emerged."

Dan and Hope (PA Real Life/Collect)

“My first words to her were, 'You're ok! Don't cry!!'"

With no idea how long the umbilical cord was, Russell just kept baby Elsie safe on her lap, tucked against her stomach, snuggled into the long, warm cardigan she was wearing.

Finally arriving at the hospital, Hornsey left the engine running and the car doors open, as he dashed inside to find help, running along the corridors until he saw two people in medical uniforms.

Tiverton Hospital (PA Real Life/Collect)

Noting the panic on his face and in his voice, they ran back to the car with him and, as they wheeled Russell and Elsie onto a ward, Hornsey fell to his knees in shock.

Then, as mom and daughter were checked over and given a clean bill of health, he was able to cut the umbilical cord – one of the only things about Elsie's delivery that went according to plan.

Amy with baby Elsie (PA Real Life/Collect)

Soon after, Hope visited, before the couple spent New Year's Eve on the empty maternity ward, watching the countdown to 2020 and the London fireworks on TV.

A few months later, Hornsey says even talking about what happened sparks a physical reaction.

“I still get an adrenaline rush and can feel my heart beating just talking about it," he said.

“A couple of months before Elsie was born, Amy had been making me watch 'One Born Every Minute', so in my head, babies were always born in hospital."

Amy and Elsie (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I was thinking we'd get to hospital, have a nice drive there and then everything would be fine. Even on the day, I thought we had plenty of time, so was quite chilled," he added.

Nothing in their relationship has gone according to plan. But they are happy with the way things turned out.

“We hadn't been together all that long when we found out we were pregnant, although we had hit it off instantly when we met," he said.

“But we certainly learnt a lot about each other on the day that Elsie was born. And there are times now when I see Amy lying down with my little girl beside her and it just melts my heart."

Baby Elsie (PA Real Life/Collect)

“It feels like it didn't actually happen to me. I just watched it and it felt like it was happening to someone else," she said.

“It's certainly the most eventful New Year's Eve I've ever had and I feel very grateful that Dan turned out to be such a good driver!"