EVERYONE involved was relieved baby Archie Shane Gould was not born on a hard bench on a Volunteer Marine Rescue boat, but his birth would have been less stressful if he had waited until they got to hospital.
Three weeks before her due date, Point Lookout resident Alisha Stevenson was ready for a routine transfer on the boat from the Marie Rose Medical Centre at Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island to Cleveland.
It was anything but routine. Archie was born in an ambulance as it raced to Redland Hospital – specifically, at the intersection of Russell and Wellington streets – at 12.15am on Thursday, April 6.
“They pulled over the ambulance just after he was born to make sure everything was fine,” Ms Stevenson said.
Accompanied by paramedic John Bradbury, partner Adam Gould and Ms Stevenson’s mother Michele Stevenson they had left Dunwich expecting a long night.
She had even turned down Mr Bradbury’s offer to take a stretcher on the boat.
“I was thinking that we still had hours. Then my waters broke on the boat.
“I was sitting there wishing I had some pain relief. I definitely thought he was going to be born on the boat.”
Ms Stevenson said by the time she was taken into the ambulance at Raby Bay, there were no breaks between contractions.
“It was very scary.”
The first-time mother said the paramedics and her family had helped her keep calm.
For Mr Bradbury, a paramedic of more than 26 years, it was not the case he had expected.
“I have been in this job a long time, but it was pretty scary,” he said.
“I got the job as a routine hospital transfer. Alisha’s labour progressed fast when we were on the bay.
“Five minutes out from Cleveland, it looked like the birth was imminent.”
With the nearest back-up crew 50 minutes away, advanced care paramedic Cally Hall left her partner with a patient at Redland Hospital and drove an ambulance to the jetty.
“As we got her off the boat, Alisha was in full labour,” Mr Bradbury said.
With no complications, the paramedics soon got the 2.73 kilogram baby and his family to the maternity unit at Redland Hospital.
Archie’s delivery was a North Stradbroke Island community effort.
The couple had moved house the day Ms Stevenson had gone into labour. Days before they had met a new neighbour, who was the VMR skipper who took them to Raby Bay.
Mr Gould, who grew up in Cleveland, is an electrician on Straddie and was in the middle of work project at the ambulance station where Mr Bradbury is based.