Mum gives birth three hours after hospital sends her home
ABOUT 1am Saturday young mum-to-be Caitlin Neels went to hospital. But she was only 2cm dilated and was sent home to ride it out.
Two hours later, in severe pain, she called the hospital, but was again told it was too early.
At 5.10am the 21-year-old gave birth to Luca Szily with the help of her partner Levi Szily.
Ms Neels had already miscarried seven times and her pregnancy was fraught with complications.
When Luca was born, the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and he wasn't breathing at first.
But Mr Szily quickly wrapped his son in a towel and rubbed his back.
"That's when he started crying," Ms Neels said. "I was trying to hold him in until the paramedics got there because I was terrified something would go wrong.
"I knew it wasn't right. I knew he was coming.
"I was disappointed when (the hospital) told me I couldn't come back, since I had difficulties during the pregnancy.
"At the start he wasn't growing properly and they were doing constant scans because he had an irregular heartbeat."
Gladstone Hospital obstetrician Dr Simon Tyrell said he was sorry Ms Neels felt let down and that the hospital would review the facts of her case.
He said the early stages of labour could sometimes last for days and keeping women in hospital for that time did not change the chances of complication.
"During first-time labours, women are usually asked to stay in the comfort of their own home until there are regular painful contractions in a cycle, at least one every five minutes," Dr Tyrell said.
Ms Neels wasn't sure how far apart her contractions were but said the pain had become so intense she was crying and grunting in the bathroom.
When her partner realised the baby wasn't waiting around he quickly put towels down in the hallway and called 000.
The woman on the phone told him he would have to deliver the baby; but, she told him, he couldn't put the phone on loud speaker because she couldn't hear properly.
"I thought, how am I supposed to deliver a baby and hold the phone!"
"I just put it on the ground next to me and put my hand out so he didn't hit the floor. It all happened so quickly once (Caitlin) started pushing."
Five minutes after the couple delivered their own child the paramedics arrived and Mr Szily cut the cord.
"It's definitely an experience we'll never forget," Ms Neels said.