After feeling unwell and visiting the doctor, Mr Syed Zukarnain expected to spend yesterday at home nursing his cough and sore throat.
Instead, the 46-year-old and his wife Reena, 47, an administrative executive, found themselves weaving through rush-hour traffic with a stranger giving birth in their back seat.
He was pulling out of the Bukit Panjang carpark at around 9am and about to take his wife to work when they saw a pregnant woman lying on the ground with her frantic husband talking on the phone.
"I was quite scared and concerned for the baby," he told The Straits Times."They had already waited for a cab for one hour. They called but (there was) no response. The waterbag had already burst in that hour, that's why we decided not to think so much and told them to get in the car."
The pregnant woman's husband urged his wife not to push but half an hour into the journey to Singapore General Hospital (SGH), he exclaimed that the baby's head was out.
The seven-seater Chevrolet had quickly become a makeshift delivery ward.
Overcoming her fear of blood, Madam Reena, a mother of two, undid her seatbelt and climbed from the front passenger seat to the back, while her husband ploughed through the traffic with his horns blaring and hazard lights on.
The National University Hospital would have been nearer, but the couple wanted to go to SGH, where all their check-ups had been.
The new parents, believed to be in their 20s, declined to be interviewed.
Madam Reena said: "I saw that the baby's whole head was out and it was completely white."
Fearing for the baby, she urged the woman to push. "When she pushed once, half of the body came out together with the hand and the baby started crying. The body was completely white as well and I was scared and nervous, but I tried to push (my fear) aside and told her to push more and the whole baby came out."
By 9.40am, the girl had been born with her umbilical cord still attached. They were then on the AYE near the Lower Delta Road exit but still a good 15 minutes away from SGH because of heavy traffic.
Madam Reena grabbed a shawl and wrapped the baby girl up to keep her warm, the whole time holding her close to her mother's pelvis while kneeling on the floor.
"I tried to talk to the baby and described her to her mother," she said.
Once at the hospital, paramedics jumped into action - cutting the umbilical cord and wheeling mother and daughter into the hospital.
Mr Syed, who works for Omni Offshore Terminals, and the new father exchanged numbers. According to Mr Syed, both mother and daughter are doing well.
Madam Reena said: "A few hours later, we texted each other and I asked how mum and baby were doing. We're very happy that both of them are doing fine." She added: "I can't believe that I did that."
This article was first published on July 23, 2015.
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