A nurse from Potchefstroom, North West, says it’s “divine intervention” that she happened to be at a local guesthouse when a woman walking past went into sudden labour – and the baby wasn’t waiting for an ambulance.
It was like something from a Hollywood movie, says Nicolette Lottering (50), of the incident that happened in March at the Rooshoek guesthouse, chapel and tea garden in Potchefstroom.
“It’s really something that only happens once in a lifetime,” she told YOU on the phone on Friday.
Nicolette and her 18-year-old son, Ben-Nico, had visited the tea garden on 16 March for a drink. Ben-Nico’s friend Charlotte is a waitress there.
But then the guesthouse manager, Ceciel Ungerer (43), approached Nicolette with a strange request: a woman had been walking past the guesthouse when she went into labour. And an ambulance wouldn’t make it in time.
“The woman had been walking home after she’d been for a check-up at the Potchefstroom hospital,” Ceciel says.
“Our gardener, Patrick Molemoeng, was the first one to notice something was wrong. She stopped every few steps and eventually she was bent over, moaning in pain. He was worried and came to fetch us.”
her staff helped the woman onto the property. But the little one was in a hurry
to be born.
“The woman was in labour and she soon said it felt as if the baby was out. A thousand things go through you head but the biggest question of all is, ‘Is this child going to be okay?’
“I asked Charlotte to find out if there was anyone with a medical background in the tea garden. She said her friend’s mom happens to be a nurse,” Ceciel tells YOU.
Though a qualified nurse, Nicolette now works at a psychiatric hospital in the city. She rushed to the porch to help, she says.
“I had nothing with me – no gloves and no other tools. I asked Ceciel to bring me two shopping bags and kitchen string. When we carefully pulled down the woman’s jeans, the little girl was already with us,” she says.
At first, the baby didn’t seem to be breathing, Nicolette adds.
“I rubbed her until she started crying – that’s when her colour got a bit pinker. Mommy was in shock and Ceciel brought blankets and towels. Together, we tried calming her down. Ceciel and her staff were exceptional.”
Nicolette used kitchen string to tie off the umbilical cord but the afterbirth didn’t immediately come out.
Emergency personnel from ER24 arrived and took the mom and baby to the Potchefstroom hospital. The baby was first kept in the neonatal high-care unit because she was premature – she’d been born at 30 weeks – but has since been discharged, Nicolette says.
“We visited mom and daughter to take them a few things and she’s happy – she’s glowing. It’s something we won’t forget.”
They were told the mom named the little girl Rose, Ceciel says. “Rose after Rooshoek – the place she was born.”
The woman didn’t wish to speak to the media and asked that Ceciel speak on her behalf. Though YOU knows her identity, it’s not being disclosed to protect her privacy.