'I gave birth in the car park'
BABY Ashley held on long enough for her mum to make it to hospital - but she didn't let her get inside.
Startled visitors were shocked on Wednesday when Rachael Stebbings gave birth to wee Ashley, helped by partner Dan Jorgensen, virtually on the steps of Mater Hospital.
Her father ended up catching her only metres from the front door.
It wasn't supposed to be that way as Rachael woke on Wednesday with stomach cramps, but ignored them to head to the supermarket to do the shopping.
The mother of Jesse, 3, and Indy, 6, said she had felt similar pains in the other pregnancies so didn't think anything was out of the ordinary.
"I went grocery shopping at Coles and I felt fine. This was an hour before I gave birth."
Dan agreed the ending could have been even more messy: "She could have had it in the store, she was lucky".
They soon figured out things were moving faster than they expected. Dan called his brother, who lives nearby, so their other children had company.
With both realising she was now in labour, Rachael was rushed into the car and off to hospital.
Screaming "I want an epidural, I want an epidural" Rachael said she was in so much pain she felt as though she was dying.
In a desperate attempt to reach the hospital on time, Dan took a different route than usual - only to get stuck in congested afternoon traffic. Eventually parked in a doctor's bay at Mater Hospital, Rachael knew it was already too late.
They started struggling to the front doors of the hospital; Dan running into the maternity ward where he grabbed Rosie Rahman, a midwife working the night shift.
"Running back out, I had made it just in time. Standing on the grass, I caught our baby with the midwife standing next to me," Dan said. "Me and Rosie looked at each other and started crying and laughing. It was just amazing."
Rachael, however, wasn't laughing, standing mortified on the lawn while another couple of women looked on shocked from their car.
Rachael was then wheeled into the hospital so staff could check on her condition and that of her baby.
With everything checking out fine, the couple say Ashley is perfect, but next time they'll do whatever it takes to get to the hospital early, even if it means camping at the hospital for a week.