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HomeLatest NewsRoadside birth of a boy called Jack Manly, a happy, dramatic tale...

Roadside birth of a boy called Jack Manly, a happy, dramatic tale in a twisted time

“You’re not getting this, I am PUSHING,” Northern Beaches paramedic Alyssa Stevens, 33, bellows to fiancé Max as they turn into Warringah Road at Brookvale on Saturday afternoon, 17 July.

Max Griffiths, 30,  pulls the car over. They are on the phone to Triple Zero but it’s just become clear this will be a roadside birth.

Alyssa, who works as a paramedic at the Balgowlah station, has always wanted to be part of a roadside birth.  This wasn’t what she had in mind.

Alyssa had felt pre-contractions for a few days but hadn’t thought much of it. She had been waiting for the really dramatic warning signs that it was time to go to hospital, the kind she got when her first child, Penny, came into the world.

Already a week over due, she was ready to be induced on Monday (today).  But when the Northern Beaches Hospital staff suggested she come in early, she sent Penny off with mum and had her sister Madeleine Mary head over for support.

“As my sister walked us down to the car my waters suddenly broke there on the footpath and I thought ‘Oh god this is happening now’,” says Alyssa. “I said to Max ‘you need to drive so quick’, he kept reassuring me that we would be fine and get to the hospital on time but he just wasn’t getting it. ‘Don’t worry we will get there’ he kept saying”.

“You’re not getting this, I am pushing!,” Alyssa recalls exclaiming.

A few minor traffic violations later and it is clear they won’t  get there.

Max pulls over and opens the car door, squatting down into the gutter as loud trucks blast past them.

“I was planning on another water birth. Aromatherapy, dim lights, a good dose of morphine. Instead here I am in the front seat, arched back, feet up on the dashboard feeling like someone is killing me!”

Max and Alyssa moments after their son is born on Saturday. Photos taken by Alyssa’s sister Madeleine Stevens who was close behind.

“I was planning on another water birth. Aromatherapy, dim lights, a good dose of morphine. Instead here I am in the front seat, arched back, feet up on the dashboard feeling like someone is killing me!”

Max chimes in: “So I go around and pull down her pants part way and there is a baby’s head right there.” I can hear Max is still in shock, a kind of buzzy happy shock.

Alyssa: “It was the most painful thing; the pain was holy crap level.  All I knew was that it would end if I pushed this baby out so I gave the hugest push, it was such a large push that baby flew out.”

And dad was there to catch him.

A healthy baby boy, quickly named Jack Manly Griffiths –  yep Manly, after their love of the local footy team.

The ambulance soon arrived, Alyssa’s colleagues from the Balgowlah station, and her sister was on scene and captured some amazing shots.

The pair go by ambulance to Northern Beaches Hospital and everyone is in excellent health.

Alyssa laughs as she recalls walking past her birthing suite, soft music playing and a bath ready to go.  “We were six days late and still didn’t make it in time,” she laughs.

The couple is already back home in Dee Why with Jack and their daughter Penny. It’s been less than 48 hours and they are still buzzing.

I thank them for sharing their story with me, and we all agree it’s just the kind of feel good life affirming yarn the area needs right now.

We share a few laughs about the car seats being ruined and Max proving a great catch as the baby flies out like it’s shot through a tube at water works.

I’m just about to hang up the phone when I suddenly remember a question I had meant to ask earlier.

“Sorry I forgot to ask Max, what do you do for work?”

There’s a brief pause and a giggle from Alyssa in the background.  Max responds:

“Oh, I’m a plumber.”

Home together today. Photo: Stephen Govel

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