Baby Soli Adams should not have been born on the side of the Princes Highway, according to his parents Ryan and Anja.
He should have been born at the Milton Hospital - not down the road at Falls Creek at 7.50pm on Wednesday, April 14 at night.
The Burrill Lake couple, like many other local residents, want full maternity services returned to Milton Hospital.
It's sheer luck that things went well for Soli, who weighed 3.3 kilograms at birth, and his parents as they tried to get to the Shoalhaven District Hospital in Nowra.
Both Anja and Ryan handled the situation amazingly well and this is their story.
Anja was labouring at home in Burrill Lake - the now mother of two likes to labour at home because it provides her with a more comfortable environment.
Towards the end of day, she started to "get into more heavy labour".
"I was avoiding the car because it's not nice to labour in a car for an hour when you are hanging in there at the end," she said.
When they got in the car when things started to progress.
Ryan, who ended up delivering their baby, was driving and Anja was in the backseat.
They could have stopped in at Milton Hospital but followed the birthing guidelines - which was to go Nowra.
"I was in tunnel vision - go to Nowra. It's an hour away and I am going to make it there," Anja said about what was going on in her mind.
Ryan then told Anja they had reached the halfway point.
She was moving around in the back seat trying to get into the optimal birthing position.
"I wanted to go with the birthing sensations - I did not want to fight it," she said.
With her first baby Audrey [who will soon turn three-years-of age], Anja said she fought the birthing sensations during the drive to Nowra.
Then her breathing started to get more urgent and laboured.
"I then felt the sensation to push and bare down and we were not anywhere near Nowra. We were about 15 minutes away on the highway in the middle of the bush," she said.
"It was dark and not safe by the side of the road. I said to Ryan 'we have to pull over now'."
Ryan quickly pulled and parked in the safest spot he could find on the highway near Falls Creek.
"Literally then, the baby was coming," Anja said.
Ryan also called for an ambulance, gave them their location, got some birthing instructions and then Soli arrived.
"They [ambulance staff] cheered me on and then the head came out," she said.
Soli's head came out in the amniotic sac which is a rare occurrence.
"So my husband is delivering this baby's head in an amniotic sac which is quite miraculous - not many people get to see that," she said.
It ended being a quick process and Anja appreciated that the phone support team was cheering her on.
Anja and Ryan also did a few birthing courses which helped them handle the situation.
The baby came and two minutes later the ambulance arrived.
All the towels they had in the car came in handy.
"It was all amazing and lucky it all went well really," she said.
"I would have liked to have home-birth but I went for the safer option," she said explaining how the safer option ended not being so safe.
Anja said she always had faith in Ryan and his abilities to handle the birth.
Baby Soli is doing well and will have a great story to tell when he gets older.
"He is really well - we could not be happier that it worked out so well," the proud mum said.
She still thinks local mothers should be able to give birth at Milton.
Anja said giving birth at Milton would have given her more certainty, comfort and ease.
"I would love to see the facilities expand to meet the needs of the growing population and the demands of the women who are birthing in the area," she said.
Ryan and Anja shudder at the thought of trying to get through Milton traffic at 8am in the morning or at the peak holiday season when you are about to give birth.
They have both heard stories of mums driving all the way from the Ulladulla area to Nowra, only to be told to go back home.
Ryan said it was pure luck that nothing went wrong.
"If there was a complication with Soli when he was born there was no support. You are a long way from help," he said.
Ryan said all he was focused on was his job - which was making sure both mother and baby were safe.
He added there were moments of anxiety there as well.
Ryan said delivering his son was amazing.
"That aspect of it is amazing - for all the ifs, buts and maybes of how it should have happened and how it did happen is amazing," he said.
They say at the end of the day the added stress and anxiety they experienced and which is still experienced today by parents could be easily solved by returning the maternity service to Milton.
The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District in 2016, in response to concerns around the safety and 24/7 sustainability of the service, carried an extensive review of the Milton Ulladulla maternity service.
Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Maternity and Women's Health Service Lead (Southern) Angela Jones explained the process.
"In the interests of safety, the decision was made to provide a Level one maternity service at the Hospital, with a focus on providing local antenatal (before birth) and postnatal (after birth) services by midwives, with complementing birthing services provided at Shoalhaven Hospital, under the care of a midwifery and obstetric team," she said
"The dedicated Midwifery Antenatal Postnatal Service (MAPS) established at Milton Ulladulla Hospital focuses on continuity of care and involves two teams, each with three midwives, who provide all antenatal and postnatal care to their group of women.
"Planning continues for the future establishment of a Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) for women in the Shoalhaven region, including Milton Ulladulla.
"Under the MGP, each woman is allocated two midwives who provide her antenatal and postnatal care; one midwife would also be on call for her labour and birth at Shoalhaven Hospital.
"The 2020/21 expenses budget for ISLHD is more than $1 billion, an increase of $24.3 million from the previous year," she added.
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