6 July 2023

Baby George was born on the hospital kerb – his mum wouldn't have it any other way

| Zoe Cartwright
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mum and newborn bub in hospital bed

Kelsey Pye and her baby, George Lee, shortly after he was born in the drop-off zone at the front of Moruya Hospital. Photo: Supplied.

Most women wouldn’t describe giving birth in the gutter as a “dream come true”, but for Kelsey Pye, it was everything she hoped for.

The 24-year-old Tomakin mum wasn’t too worried when she began to feel contractions on Wednesday (28 June) – they were about 10 minutes apart and so mild she could sleep through them.

She checked in with her midwife, who also wasn’t fazed – Kelsey was only 38 weeks pregnant, and the baby wasn’t due for a while yet.

By her scheduled ultrasound in Moruya the next morning, the pain was a little more intense, but nothing to be alarmed about.

“I was still walking and talking, everything felt easy,” Kelsey said.

“The midwives said it would either pick up or fizzle out, so we decided to head home.

“Labour with my first son was 25 hours long, including an hour of pushing, so I didn’t think we were in any rush.”

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But the pain intensified when she and her partner Callan Lee, also 24, arrived home.

Kelsey knew she needed to get to the hospital, so a friend came over to mind her eldest son while Cal drove.

“The midwives told us to pack heaps of towels because this baby might come on the way, but I still felt like we were ages away,” she said.

“I was just in the car listening to a podcast, trying to relax my body.

“The contractions became a minute apart, then back-to-back – I couldn’t hear my partner talking to me, I was in so much pain.

“Then we got to the Moruya bridge and I felt my body start pushing on its own.”

mum holding newborn bub in carpark

Kelsey and George in the carpark after they were discharged. Photo: Supplied.

Because she had an epidural with her first son, Eddy, Kelsey hadn’t experienced the sensation of pushing during labour before, but by the time she and Cal arrived at Moruya Hospital, she was very familiar with it.

“I told Cal to go straight to the front door, do not park the car, do not pass go, do not collect $100, and as he pulled up, my waters broke in the front seat,” she said.

“He ran to get a wheelchair and I crawled out of the car literally into the gutter at the front door.

“I could feel my body pushing and Cal runs out to find me on my hands and knees pulling my pants down.

“He’s asked what I’m doing and I’ve said, ‘Our baby’s head is out, catch him’. My body pushed and he just arrived.”

Cal caught George as an off-duty midwife, who happened to be in the ED with her son, ran out to help.

They put baby George on Kelsey’s chest, with everyone in varying states of shock.

And despite the wild ride, Kelsey said it was the perfect birth.

“I got to feel what it was like to push. I had no interventions, my partner was there, and George was OK – apart from a little graze on his head,” she said.

“My body knew what to do, and he was just really excited to get here.

“Callan was amazing, he was so calm, he picked George up and really held me together.

“You only get to give birth once after nine months of pregnancy, so you might as well make it exciting.

“Honestly, it was the perfect birth – and it makes a good story too!”

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George, affectionately nicknamed “Kirby” by the doctors and midwives immediately after his birth, developed a mild infection, which was treated in Bega with antibiotics before Kelsey got to take him home to his dad and big brother, Eddy.

Kelsey is recovering well, and said she was soaking up every moment.

“On paper, Eddy was a traumatic birth,” she said.

“It was 25 hours of labour, I had an epidural, they had to use a vacuum, and then I couldn’t hold him for a couple of days, so to have this time together with George has been a dream.”

While both of Kelsey’s births were dramatic, she has an appetite for more arrivals – although maybe not of her own.

When the boys are a little bigger, she plans to study midwifery.

“I loved birth and labour, and learning about pregnancy was fascinating,” she said.

“I know it’s really scary for some women, and I understand that, but I think it’s amazing.

“I love how no two stories are the same, every birth is unique and there’s so much to learn.

“Every woman gets to walk out with her own special story of how she met her baby.”

Every birth is special, but the story of how Kelsey and George met is one epic tale.

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