Driver was unaware of backseat birth in her car

2008-04-01 00:00

A SOUTHGATE pensioner only learnt yesterday that her neighbour’s domestic worker gave birth in the back seat of her car — while she was driving her to Edendale Hospital.

The bubbly Greek granny, Maria Yeoman, was surprised by this during a Witness interview with the baby’s mother, Beauty Zuma.

All the while, Yeoman had believed that the baby was born just on their arrival at Edendale Hospital.

The shy Zuma (38) of Unit 18 in Imbali, said she gave birth about a kilometre after leaving Yeoman’s house. “Oh no, so I drive all the way to the hospital with a baby on board?” asked Yeoman.

The drama happened last Tuesday when Zuma started having labour pains and asked the gardener to call an ambulance, which never came.

Yeoman told The Witness she had just returned from shopping, had a quick lunch and was about to have a few minutes’ rest.

“Suddenly, I heard someone calling outside my gate and going out to investigate, I saw it was the gardener, Alpheus, who works near to where I live. He told me there was a pregnant woman kneeling on the grass outside who was about to give birth.”

Yeoman asked if he had phoned for an ambulance and he said he phoned twice half an hour earlier.

“I got into my car and asked two passers-by, who were trying to calm her down, to put her on to the back seat of my car … I was shocked to see the baby’s head coming out and really panicked!”.

She said one of the women offered to come along to show her how to get to Edendale Hospital.

“We first went to a clinic nearby [Grange], but it was closed, so we went on to Edendale … The lady who was with me rushed inside to ask for help and after waiting a very long 10 minutes … I was about ready to take a chance and … run into the hospital when I saw a nurse passing by.” Yeoman asked the nurse if she would help.

“She rushed inside and within a few minutes, to my relief, a sister and nurse arrived. She opened the back door of the car, picked up a tiny and still wet baby and said to me ‘but the baby is already here lying down in your car!’. I nearly fainted,” said Yeoman.

“When they told me it was a little girl, I asked if it could be named by my name of Maria! I certainly will never forget a little Zulu baby called Maria!” she chuckled.

The mother named her baby Luyanda, loosely translating as “abundance”.

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