Australian Mom Gives Birth Unassisted on Hospital Room Floor in Dramatic Delivery

Aleisha King

Aleisha King birth story
Aleisha King

When Aleisha King was pregnant with her second child this spring, she says she loved hearing all kinds of different birth stories from other moms. But she never could have dreamt that hers would turn out to be one of the most dramatic ones she'd heard yet. As if giving birth during a global health crisis wasn't anxiety-inducing enough, the Melbourne, Australia, mom wound up giving birth on the hospital room floor, in a heart-pounding delivery she'll never forget.

  • The mom tells CafeMom that her first birth experience, in which she welcomed her son Arlo, came with its own stress.

    Aleisha King's husband holds baby
    Aleisha King

    At 33 weeks, doctors had noticed reduced fetal movement, which put her on edge for the last month of her pregnancy. When it finally came time to deliver, doctors decided to induce, and the painful and long labor that followed led to a traumatic experience that was anything but what she envisioned. 

    "I felt very out of control with the pain of contractions and I hated the feeling," she says, looking back. "I ended up getting an epidural but I progressed from 4cm to 10cm in a few hours and as I got the epidural I was fully dilated. This meant that when it came time to push I couldn’t feel my contractions or the natural urge to push as the epidural had only just kicked in."

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  • King says she struggled to give birth because she couldn’t feel where she was pushing from, and had no idea if she was even doing it right.

    In a recent episode of the Australian Birth Stories podcast, she detailed the stressful delivery:

    "I had been pushing for 40 minutes when they threatened to use the vacuum and give me an episiotomy. So then I pushed and he was born. His hand was over his head so I tore and the placenta didn’t deliver on its own. Unfortunately, the cord snapped and I hemorrhage and regardless of the OB trying to remove it manually, it wouldn’t budge. After one-and-a-half hours, they took me down to [operating] theatre, had to manually dilate my cervix as it had closed again and they finally got it out."

  • The entire event was understandably traumatic, which is why King vowed that her second birth would be different.

    Arlo holds baby Jude
    Aleisha King

    "I didn’t want to feel as out of control again," she tells CafeMom of why she began doing her own research for baby no. 2.

    It wasn't long before she discovered hypnobirthing, a pain management technique that helps ease any fears or anxieties women may have about giving birth. The method "involves various relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques to help relax the body before and during labor and birth," according to Healthline. (In fact, it's become somewhat trendy in recent years, being used by countless celebrities from Jessica Alba to Kate Middleton.)

    King hoped the technique would make her second delivery far less dramatic than the first -- and in many ways, it did. Well, except for one "tiny" thing she couldn't exactly prevent: the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Two days before she gave birth, the family got a scare: Her husband, Blix, who works as an EMT, had been potentially exposed to COVID-19 on a shift.

    "He called to tell me that he was in full protective wear as he’d just transferred a patient who may have had Covid-19, but he wasn’t wearing any protection during the transfer," she told the Australian Birth Stories podcast. "As a result he had to socially distance from work." 

    Because of this, the couple was also initially told that Blix couldn't be present for the birth -- unexpected news that understandably sent Aleisha reeling.

    "I had to go to for monitoring again [that day] and on the way there I just started crying," she recalled. "There’s a global pandemic and now my husband can’t come to the hospital!"

    Ultimately, she surrendered herself to the fact that it might happen, but luckily, that didn't come to pass. Calls were made to hospital administrators, and her husband was ultimately allowed to come to the birth, so long as he wore a mask, appropriate protective gear, and didn't leave the birthing suite.

  • Then, on March 19, she started feeling pre-labor pains. 

    Aleisha King laboring at home
    Aleisha King

    But looking back now, King says she didn't realize for hours just how far along she was. The Australian mom had been subconsciously employing hypnobirthing tactics throughout the day, which helped manage her discomfort and her anxiety -- perhaps a little too well.

    "The breathing techniques worked so well I still didn’t think I was in active labor as the contractions did not feel anywhere near as intense as my first labor," she tells CafeMom.

  • So when King and her husband drove to the hospital later that afternoon, she was surprised by how quickly things had progressed. 

    In fact, they'd barely pulled up to the entrance when she was overcome by the intense need to push. "When we got the hospital, I started pushing outside and was on all fours," she remembers. Moments later, her water broke.

    Nearly giving birth in a parking lot would be a dramatic enough story on its own. Doing so during the COVID-19 outbreak adds another layer of panic to the matter. But this time around, King had steeled herself for the unknown, and admits she was "not worried at all." 

    "I had the birth affirmations playing subconsciously in my head and I trusted myself, my body and my baby to deliver him safely," she tells CafeMom. "Whether that was with any health professionals present, or by myself on the pavement outside, it was so nice to feel in control and that I trusted the whole process."

  • However in control she may have felt, few could argue that King's birth story was a definite roller coaster.

    Outside the hospital, while down on her hands and knees, King screamed, "The baby's coming!"

    Her husband instinctively pulled down her pants, to see whether the baby was out. Thankfully, the baby wasn't there  just yet -- meaning the couple had more time. 

    But as it turned out, they didn't have much of it. Moments later, a midwife rushed out of the hospital with the wheelchair and told King not to push yet. 

    "I was trying to hold it in, I knelt on the wheelchair facing the back and she said I had to sit down which was tricky!" she told Australia Birth Stories. "The security guard pushed me and was running to the elevator."

  • Blix grabbed a face mask and the couple reached the birthing suite at 11:08 -- with just six minutes to spare before baby Jude finally arrived.

    Aleisha King holds her baby moments after birth
    Aleisha King

    King says she quite literally fell out of the wheelchair and onto the floor once they were in the room, and just minutes later, at 11:14, Blix caught Jude. 

    The moment was dramatic (to say the least), but by all accounts, Jude was perfectly healthy and safe.

    "He latched on perfectly about half an hour after birth and has been feeding and sleeping beautifully ever since," King recalls.

  • Looking back, the mom still can't believe her birth was so drama-filled.

    Aleisha King holds baby
    Aleisha King

    "Whenever I pictured Jude's birth before he was born, it was a quiet, dark room where I was in the bath listening to hypnobirthing tracks," she says. "It was hardly like that, but due to my practice with hypnobirthing I still felt in control and it was my version of a beautiful birth experience, pandemic and all!"

    Despite the intensity of it all, King says she'd gladly do it "again and again and again," explaining, "It made me feel like Superwoman."

    Honestly, after hearing the play-by-play, she certainly sounds like Superwoman!

  • As for other pregnant moms, who may be struggling with the stress of delivering during the outbreak, she has some words of wisdom.

    Aleisha King and husband look at baby
    Aleisha King

    "It’s scary. I get that," King says. "But nothing about motherhood is easy, and this is just a weird way for the world to prepare you. Trust your body, trust your baby. Maybe there will have to be a few changes to what you envisioned your birth to be ... but in the end, it’s what you make of it."