This beautiful photograph captured the moment a mum gave birth – in the back seat of her CAR.
Melissa Ayling, 34, wanted to stay at home for as long as possible but left it a little too late and Lockie started to appear while she was being driven to the hospital.
Quick-thinking husband Sam, 29, hastily pulled over, put down some bin bags and shouted to a child playing nearby to “get your mum to call an ambulance”.
Calm Melissa lay out on the reclined seats while a random passerby helped out and Sam caught baby Lockie to pass him up for a first special cuddle with his mum.
Mum-of-two Melissa said the road-side drug-free birth was “perfect” and gorgeous photos show her sat in her car before the ambulance arrived.
Melissa, from Geraldton, Western Australia, said: “I was a bit reluctant to go to hospital to give birth – I was really comfortable in our own home.
“I tried to stay at home for as long as possible, but it was too late.
“On the way to hospital I ended up giving birth.
“While my baby’s head had emerged, some learner drivers went past and they looked in the windows and saw everything.
“Sam said he saw the look on their faces and they quickly drove off.
“When we pulled up on the side of the road, there were two children playing in a front garden.
“My husband called out ‘hey little girl, can you get your mum to call an ambulance? My wife’s having a baby’.”
Melissa felt his head emerge, followed by his shoulders and stomach, and said he started to cry and wiggle his way out.
“I told him ‘You’re going to have to catch the baby’,” said Melissa.
With the help of a passerby, who yanked down her bikini bottoms, Sam passed the baby through Melissa’s legs and presented her with the baby boy.
“Lockie is a very happy baby – he’s got a very high level of awareness,” she said.
“He’s very determined, I do say that a lot of it is because of the way he was born.
“After the birth I was so high and so happy – if you could bottle that feeling I would.”
Melissa hoped to have a calm water birth in hospital with her second child.
She is a hypnobirth practitioner and teaches the methods which involve relaxation and breathing techniques, as well as self-hypnosis to help keep calm during birth.
She went into labour at 39 weeks after eating chilli and mussel pasta – the last thing she ate before going into labour with first son, Jarvis, now four.
At 9am she felt the first contractions, but thinking she had plenty of time didn’t leave home for the hospital until 4pm.
The couple scrambled to the car, where Sam had earlier put down a plastic bin bag on the passenger seat in case Melissa’s waters broke.
As she tried to get in the car, another surge hit her and Melissa felt an urge to push, and they were on the road when she screamed: “Sam! The baby is coming!”
She reclined the passenger seat and crouched on her knees as Sam drove to the hospital but he pulled over three miles from the hospital when her waters broke.
Melissa said: “Giving birth unassisted and unmedicated is quite unusual – I kept thinking Sam was pulling my baby out but it was just gravity.
“Sam had his hands out and received him. I just allowed my body to give birth and my mind had to stay calm and trust and surrender.”
About 30 seconds later, an ambulance arrived and paramedics loaded Melissa and the baby onto a stretcher and whisked her to a hospital.
She stayed in overnight, and returned home the next day – after she had the car professionally cleaned.
Baby Lockie is now eight months old, and Melissa said: “I really believe a birth is something enjoyable – I listened to my body and was guided by it.
“People still associate it with what they see on TV but your body knows what to do.”