'Wonderful decision' gets midwife to urgent birth

Finally resting up in Dunedin Hospital yesterday are Milton mother Rebecca Wright, her partner...
Finally resting up in Dunedin Hospital yesterday are Milton mother Rebecca Wright, her partner Scott Cockburn and their new baby Skye Cockburn. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
A South Otago couple on an urgent drive to Dunedin for the birth of their baby made it as far as a Waihola camping ground and a midwife got to the scene through the help of police.

Skye Rose Cockburn was born on Thursday morning a few minutes after the midwife’s arrival and her parents said yesterday the baby girl was doing well.

The birth happened in front of the Lake Waihola Holiday Park office and they said a couple staying there pitched in to give assistance.

Skye’s mother, Rebecca Wright, said at Dunedin Hospital yesterday she was very tired and a bit sore, but otherwise fine.

Senior Constable John Keoghan, of Milton, said he had been patrolling between Balclutha and Milton when a motorist caught his attention by flashing their headlights.

"It turned out to be a midwife who urgently needed to get to a patient," Snr Const Keoghan said.

Traffic had been held up and the police officer was asked "can you get there quicker?".

"I said ‘yeah, jump in’."

Snr Const Keoghan confirmed they used lights and sirens.

"The midwife made a wonderful decision," he said.

New dad Scott Cockburn recorded the time of birth as 11.56am on Thursday.

Skye weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces (about 3.3kg) and was Miss Wright’s second child, he said.

It had been an anxious time for the Milton couple in the lead-up.

Miss Wright was just over 38 weeks into her pregnancy and said her waters broke "out of the blue".

A midwife was soon at her side.

Mr Cockburn was some drive away, around Finegand, but he quickly worked out what was happening because he received an alert on his phone from a security camera at his house and, taking a peek at footage, he saw the midwife.

Mr Cockburn had been mowing at the back of a drystock runoff block and he then rang his partner and drove to Milton.

The couple said they were told to head straight for Dunedin and they jumped in Mr Cockburn’s ute.

They had to stop at roadworks on State Highway 1 near Waihola and Miss Wright was in a lot of pain and got out of the vehicle.

"We almost had to give birth right there," Mr Cockburn said.

The couple then drove to the holiday park.

An ambulance was also called.

People tried to make Miss Wright comfortable and provide some privacy, Mr Cockburn said.

For Snr Const Keoghan, the birth brought back memories of a similar situation he faced in 2001.

He had been a dive instructor at a resort in Tanzania in East Africa and had to try to get a pregnant woman to hospital.

She ended up giving birth to a baby girl in the back of his Land Rover.