Noel and Tjana Saldanha, pictured with midwife Kate, as the couple prepared to be discharged from Kilmore District Health following the birth of their new-born son on Tuesday. The baby was born on the side of the road in Alexandra while travelling from Eildon to Kilmore. ​

By Tricia Mifsud

Parents never forget the day their child was born, but for Tjana and Noel Saldanha, the arrival of their second child will be a story forever told.

The couple were in the car on the way to Kilmore District Health, KDH, from Eildon on Tuesday last week, when Ms Saldanha felt labour pains.

Wasting no time, the couple rushed into the car for the hour-and-a-half hour trip – but the baby had other plans.

They only made it to Alexandra when Ms Saldanha realised she was ready to deliver her baby.

“I didn’t think it would be so fast. I have a son at home and my labour with him was really long and I was expecting the same thing. I didn’t expect it to be so quick this time,” Ms Saldanha said.

Mr Saldanha described himself as ‘tense’ when his wife realised she was going into labour, with the anxiousness kicking in even more when he had to pull over.

“Our first-born took four to six hours in labour, but this one was so much quicker, and it was difficult to understand what was going on because I have no medical [background],” he said.

“We were hoping nothing happened on the way, but by luck we pulled over at the library in Alexandra and across the road was a non-urgent ambulance. I requested to them, ‘can you please come and help?’

“They came running with whatever equipment they had, and then I was finally feeling relieved.

“In about six minutes, the ambulance had arrived as well, which was really quick … we were super blessed to have all the help arrive when they did.”

On the phone with Mr and Ms Saldanha was KDH’s nurse unit manager Tania Nicholson who talked the couple through how to prepare for the delivery should the ambulance not arrived in time.

The delivery went as smoothly as possible despite the circumstances.

Ms Saldanha and her baby, who the couple haven’t decided on a name for yet, were discharged from KDH on Friday, with both doing well post-birth.

“After [the delivery] everything seemed okay despite the circumstances. He’s healthy and I am healthy and that’s all that really matters at the end,” Ms Saldanha said.

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