We’ve heard some crazy labour stories, but giving birth in the car tops the list! Annur, whose wife, Mardhiah, gave birth while en route to the hospital, shares with us the details of that fateful morning
Earlier this week, we heard the news about how Singaporean mama Mardhiah Abdul Malek gave birth in a TADA private hire car ride while on the way to the hospital – with the help of her husband Muhammad Annur Mohammad, the TADA driver and a cyclist who happened to be a doctor! We got to chat with Annur about how the whole experience went. Read their incredible story below.
Tell us how it happened!
When we had the first 2 kids, we went to the hospital immediately when my wife’s water bag broke. And both times, we had to spend over 24 hours in the hospital – waiting for her to dilate slowly from 1cm to 7cm, 9cm and eventually 10cm. Even the doctor said we were one of the couples who spent the longest in the labour ward. I pitied her so much because her back hurt a lot from the pain and epidural… So this time round I didn’t want us to kelam kabut (rush). I told my wife, “Sayang, this time round let’s not panic when your water bag bursts. We should go slow and steady.”
But when it really happened at 5:30am on Sunday morning, 12 September, my wife was really panicked – the first thing she said was, “Dear, I can really feel the baby coming out.” But because I kept recalling that we’ve already spent 24 hours in the hospital twice before, I kept my cool and booked a TADA ride to the hospital.
When the driver (Mr Addy Soon) learned about our situation he tried to go as fast as he could and horned all the other vehicles out of the way. While we were on the expressway, Mardhiah really felt the urge to push – the first push was ok, the second push still nothing. At the third push she screamed loudly and I thought I felt the baby’s head! We managed to switch on the car light and my hands were full of blood. I couldn’t believe it – I thought this kind of thing only happens in movies and dramas but never to us!
I told the driver, “Sir, the baby’s head is already out, I think you better stop.” We were still about 20 minutes away from the hospital so he exited the expressway and stopped the car. And because it was only around 6am and there was little to no traffic, he turned on his phone torch light and waved his arms in the middle of the road shouting, “Doctor! Doctor! I need assistance! There’s a baby in my car!” We really didn’t expect him to do that. He went above and beyond.
A few moments later a group of about 20 cyclists (I think they were marathon cyclists) stopped, and miraculously one of them said, “Yes I’m a doctor, how can I help?” In that moment I thought I was the luckiest man on the planet. Because it was 6 in the morning in the middle of the road at Springleaf MRT station, and God sent us a doctor! It’s a crazy coincidence – I’m sure the doctor was just happily cycling that morning also and never expected to stop and go, “Alamak! A baby!”
The baby was actually already born seconds before the cyclist/doctor came, but she didn’t cry so we were a bit worried. We didn’t even know the gender of the baby so the first thing we did was check for the gender – a baby girl! The doctor assured us that as long as the baby was breathing, moving and yawning, she was fine. The doctor timed the birth to be 6:13am.
The doctor was very professional and calmed us down, telling us to focus on the baby and wait for the ambulance. The other cyclists took over after that. My wife looked weak as she had lost a lot of blood so they suspected that she was dehydrated. One of them quickly took out their water bottle to let her drink, while the rest helped me wash my hands which were still covered in blood. At about 6:25am the ambulance arrived and the nurse cut the umbilical cord before we rode in the ambulance to KK Hospital.
It must have been quite a week for you! How’s mama and baby?
Yeah after the news of my baby being born in the taxi we feel a bit like celebrities. It’s also been a bit hectic because while my wife was discharged as per normal, the baby only just came home with us yesterday. My wife has a blood condition and was not given the antibiotics needed in time since she gave birth in the car, so the infection got passed down to my baby girl and her blood count came out abnormal. She needed to be observed until her blood count was normal. Luckily she’s home with us now.
How did your two elder children react to the baby?
My second one is only 1 year old so he hasn’t expressed any feelings towards the baby, but my eldest who is 4 was a bit shocked. She went,”Oh! I got new adik! Last time I was 1 kakak, but now I become 2 kakak.” Haha! My wife and I were so surprised that she said it like that. However she’s still getting used to it because she doesn’t know how to calm her down yet when she cries, so she’s still a bit aggressive when playing with a newborn.
*Adik = younger sibling; Kakak = older sister
How do you feel after the whole experience?
I was so happy to receive help from everybody involved even though they were complete strangers to us – from the cyclists to the doctor to the driver. We really didn’t expect them to do what they did – they all have such big hearts. This is where I can say the lyrics in the song are really correct: One People, One Nation, One Singapore!
Tonight we’re looking forward to meeting the driver and the doctor/cyclist – we’ve bought them some gifts to pass to them to thank them for their help.
Thank you Annur for speaking to us! We wish your family nothing but the best and hope mama Mardhiah and baby girl continue to do well.
Have you heard? TADA is commemorating the joyous occasion by giving all first-time TADA riders $3 off with the promo code TADABABY! Well played TADA, we’re happy to support you!