A young mother gave birth in the back seat of a car after rush-hour traffic stopped her getting to the hospital in time.
Stunned bystanders watched as the woman's father, who was driving, pulled over in the carpark of a childcare centre inside the Auckland Hospital grounds at 8am yesterday and ran shouting, "I need a doctor, somebody help, my daughter's having a baby in the car".
He quickly returned with Laraine Josephs, who had stepped outside for a coffee break from the Kids Domain childcare centre where she works.
"It was very scary because obviously I just wanted [the baby] to be okay," said the mother, 22-year-old Natalie, who didn't want to give her surname.
"[Ms Josephs] said something along the lines of 'Don't worry, I've had three kids' ...
"I was just so relieved to see a woman. I think I said to her 'Please just help me'. She was fantastic, I don't know what we would have done without her."
Motherly instinct took over for 26-year-old Ms Josephs.
"I ran straight to the car and got in to drive it straight up to emergency but at that point she was like 'I need to push'."
Ms Josephs told Natalie to push if she needed, and colleagues brought towels and blankets and looked after Natalie's six-year-old son.
As Natalie's partner Sione watched, she guided Natalie through the final part of the delivery and caught the baby girl as she emerged.
"Her head came and Natalie said 'I need to push again' so she did and out came the baby," said Ms Josephs.
"I was just in the moment ... It was scary and exciting at the same time.
"I was a bit worried because there were no doctors around, but I gave baby a bit of pat on the bum and shook her a bit to get a reaction ... it felt like it took forever but it was probably only a minute and then she yelped and I was like 'she's okay'."
Ms Josephs then covered the baby girl and put her on to Natalie's chest.
A surgical team from Auckland Hospital arrived about 10 minutes later and mother and child were taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Ms Josephs had her own children in hospital, but said being a mother helped guide her through the birthing process.
"I probably wouldn't know what to do otherwise; the process just kicked in - baby comes out, baby goes on mum's chest, baby's warm, baby's breathing and that was that.
"Dad [Sione] was pretty calm, he had a lot of confidence in me considering I had never done it before."
Natalie said her yet to be named daughter, who weighs 3.5kg, was doing well. She was grateful to Ms Josephs and others who helped them.