Labour & Delivery

Brisbane Mum’s Perfect Name Choice for Newborn Born on the Side of the Road

Brisbane couple Courtney and Elijah Tapiki have welcomed their fourth baby in a very dramatic roadside delivery. Their newborn daughter arrived quickly and nine weeks early and in the front seat of her parent’s car just before the Forest Lake and Inala Motorway exit in Brisbane. 

The couple has opted for a very ironic name for their little one who clearly couldn’t wait – Patience. 

Baby Patience - Newborn Born on the Side of the Road
Patience! Isn’t this the most fitting name for this newborn born on the side of the road? Source: Mater Mother’s Hospital

A speedy delivery

Rewind to earlier that day when Courtney first started to experience contractions. She dropped her daughter off at school and called her husband to come home from work. As the couple started towards the Mater Mother’s Hospital in South Brisbane, Coturney’s contractions started to get closer. 

When my contractions started to get closer. I thought, ‘This baby is coming right now!” Courtney shares. 

In true boss-mum fashion, Courtney somehow managed to contact 000 to let them know what was happening while her husband continued to drive. She then used another phone to contact Mater Mother’s Hospital. 

She spoke to Mater midwife Madonna Beirne, who guided her through a very fast delivery.

“I only pushed once and the baby came out – I didn’t even have time to take my underwear off!” 

In considerable danger

Courtney’s baby was not only born early but also with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice. 

Newborn Born on the Side of the Road - Patience's birth story
A very dramatic delivery indeed! Source: Mater Mother’s Hospital


“I explained to Courtney and Elijah how they needed to unwrap the cord and made sure they continuously checked on her breathing and skin colour and kept her warm,” Mrs Beirne, who has worked at the Mater for nearly 30 years, said. 

Thankfully, a Queensland Ambulance Service crew arrived on the scene and were able to take over, transporting mum and bub to the Mater Mother’s Hospital. 

“We had quite a bit of time to chat on the phone while they waited for the ambulance and I joked they should call the baby Madonna, but Courtney said she wanted to name her Patience – because her baby didn’t have any!” Mrs Beirne laughed.

Newborn Born on the Side of the Road
Courtney with Madonna. Source: Mother’s Mater Hospital

Baby Patience weighed 1.96kg and is currently receiving around-the-clock care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Mater Mothers’ Hospital. 

“She is our miracle baby,” Courtney said. “We are so lucky she survived being born so early and without any breathing assistance until we arrived at Mater.”

What an incredible birth story and fitting name! 

What to do in an emergency delivery situation

For most mums, there is plenty of time to get to the hospital before having a baby. In Australia, more than 95% of births will be in a hospital, a regular delivery suite, or a family birth unit. 

Jess rapid birth
Jess is one of the mums who experienced a rapid birth. You can read her incredible birth story here. Source: Supplied

However, some mothers will experience something known as precipitous labour or precipitous birth which is defined as extremely rapid labour and delivery, within three hours of the commencement of regular contractions. If you are unable to make it to the hospital before giving birth, this is called a BBA birth – born before arrival at the hospital. 

If you do find yourself with the need to push and are not in your preplanned birth space, then here’s what you should do: 

  • Contact 000 immediately. They can guide you through the process and dispatch an Ambulance. 
  • If you are able to, contact the Birth Suite too so they know what is happening and can be prepared. 
  • Remove your pants and underwear. 
  • If someone is with you, ask them to bring you towels or a blanket for the baby.
  • Lie down or sit propped up (standing or squatting could result in the baby falling and suffering a serious injury).
  • Try to stay calm, and practice deep breathing.
  • When the urge to push becomes overwhelming, push for counts of five then pause and breathe.
  • Do your best to gently guide the baby out as it emerges from your pelvis and carefully unloop the umbilical cord if it’s wrapped around the baby’s body or neck.
Plane birth - Raymond
Lavinia didn’t even know she was pregnant when she unexpectedly gave birth on an airplane. Read her story here. Source: Hawaii Pacific Health

Immediately after the baby comes, follow these steps:

  • Using a towel, dry off the baby.
  • Place them directly on your chest to keep warm. 
  • If your baby doesn’t cry immediately, you can run your fingers along either side of the nose to ease away mucus.
  • There is no urgency to deliver the placenta or cut or tie the cord. Hopefully, emergency services will arrive before this needs to be done but, if not, 000 will be able to guide you through this too. 
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Hopefully, an ambulance will be on the way! 

BBA birth stories 

We have shared several stories in the past when babies just won’t wait, including: 

Share your own story

If you have your own story you’d like to share, we’d love to feature it. All stories and videos are welcome including pregnancy and birth stories, the highs and lows of motherhood, hacks and transformations, little heroes, real-life stories and more.



Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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