MOMENTS before arriving at hospital, a gutsy mum delivered her baby on the back seat of a moving car.
Annika Stokoe, 34, of Springwell, couldn’t wait to push out baby Nathan.
Her waters broke at home, and she ended up giving birth on the back seat of her husband’s company car, a Ford Kuga, on the way to Sunderland Royal Hospital.
“Around 5.40pm we rang the hospital and told them that the pain was unbearable, so they said to come in,” said Annika, also mother to two-year-old Owen.
“I was struggling to put my shoes on, and then when I was trying to get into the car, my waters broke.
“I said to Gavin the baby was coming and I needed to push.”
Husband Gavin said: “She got in the car and shouted at me to drive and ring the hospital and tell them she was giving birth.”
The 37-year-old added: “We got to Chester Road Cemetery and that was when the head came out.
“I was panicking, looking round to check she was okay, and saw everything happening.”
Annika, an accounts manager for finance company Deloitte, said: “After that, I started to feel the shoulders coming. By the time we pulled into the hospital car park, he was born. I had felt the umbilical cord around his head when he was crowning, and I was worried that it was going to be around his neck so I pulled that off.
“Gavin ran to get the midwives, then the next thing I remember is three of them there helping to get the cord off and cutting it.”
Nathan, pictured above with his mum, was born at 5.55pm on Wednesday, weighing 7lbs 6.5oz.
Annika had been sent home from hospital three times earlier in the day because midwives said she was not far enough long in her labour. “I went in on the morning at 9am because I hadn’t felt the baby move for a while,” she said.
“I got checked out and everything was okay.
“Then I went to see the consultant and she gave me a sweep and booked me in to be induced the next day.
“We left about 11am. I started getting cramps about 2pm so I went and got checked over.
“But I was still 3cms dilated so they sent me home. I went back again, but was sent home for a third time about 5pm.
“We got to the house and I was going to run the bath when the pain got so bad, I knew it was coming.
“Looking back, I should have just stayed in the car.”
Gavin, who works for Ford Benfield, said: “I had to ring and tell my boss what had happened, but he was fine about it.
“Thankfully, the car has leather seats, so when I went to clean it, it wasn’t too bad. It’s funny because my sister was going to test-drive the car.”
Midwife Claire Redman, who looked after Annika after the birth of Owen and now Nathan, told the Echo: “I think she is amazing.
“When you are 3cms dilated you could be in for days, so that is why we send people home.
“With the last baby, I gave Annika a sweep then rang the hospital to see what had happened and heard the baby crying.
“I’ve seen a few of these births where it is delivered before arriving at hospital. It’s just amazing.”