Christchurch man recounts unbelievable moment new son makes unexpected arrival in New World carpark

Pat Wyatt and baby Elliot
Pat Wyatt was "trying to fang it" to the hospital as quickly as he could, but baby Elliot had other ideas. Photo credit: Supplied.

A newborn baby in Christchurch is surely entitled to Clubcard rewards for life after making an unexpected arrival in the carpark of a New World, causing staff and customers to leap into action. 

Rolleston resident Pat Wyatt told Newshub on Monday his wife Mel became five days overdue with their second child, so she went into the midwife that day for a procedure to "help move things along". 

"Almost immediately she was feeling a bit crampy so we thought, 'this is good'," Pat recounted.

The family went for a walk, during which some contractions began that his wife claimed felt different to when she was in labour with their first son. 

"So she put it down to false labour," Pat said. "We went and got an ice cream, and arrived back home about 3pm. At 3:30pm her waters broke." 

The Wyatts' older son George was looked after by Grandma, while Pat monitored his wife's contractions using an app on his phone. 

"We called our midwife and told her Mel's waters had broken, a couple of minutes later the big contractions started," he said. 

"After about four of those, the app told us to 'get to a hospital'."

They called their midwife who recommended they "start thinking about" heading to the local hospital in Lincoln, an area about half an hour from Christchurch's CBD. 

"She told us to wait a bit as she had to get there from town - she told us to leave about 5pm," Pat said. 

At about 4:30pm, encouraged by his app, Pat said he thought it was time to leave. 

"She had a contraction in the car in the driveway," he said. "I was trying to fang it as fast as I could to the hospital." 

New World Rolleston
Baby Elliot was born in the carpark of New World Rolleston on Labour Day. Photo credit: Supplied.

The pair had only travelled two streets before Mel told her husband she "needed to push". 

"I said, 'holy shit, are you sure? Should I pull over?' Pat recounted. 

"She said 'you have to pull over'." 

He drove into the back carpark of the local New World, an area Pat says was lacking in bystanders. 

"A lady was walking with some pizzas and her son to her car. I rolled down the window and said: 'Excuse me, can you call an ambulance, please? My wife is in labour'."

"Perhaps I didn't say it with quite the urgency it needed, because she was quite slow in getting out her phone," he laughed. "Then Mel said, 'I'm pushing now!'"  

After parking the car and grabbing some towels recommended by his midwife Pat says he realised: "Shit, we're going to give birth in this car." 

"I called out, 'Somebody call an ambulance! My wife is giving birth!'" 

But after being called back by his wife when he was trying to get her some water, he discovered things were even more urgent than he'd thought. 

"We took her pants off and I could see him - the baby - crowning," he said. "So I'm absolutely frantic - I yelled 'I can see the head, where is the ambulance!?'." 

This lady next to me was like, 'holy shit it's happening'." 

Pat Wyatt with newborn son Elliot, born an extremely healthy 8 pounds 11.
Pat Wyatt with newborn son Elliot, born an extremely healthy 8 pounds 11. Photo credit: Supplied.

Another supermarket customer rushed inside to request medical help from a doctor or nurse over the supermarket intercom, while bystanders on the phone to emergency services fed Pat advice. 

"Mel was pushing and his head came out, I caught his head in both hands," he said.

"I said, 'Am I supposed to pull him?' I don't know how long his head was in my hands but it felt so fast - the next push he fully came out.

"All the fluids, all the water came out in a rush, all over the front seat."  

Pat caught newborn baby Elliot in both hands before Mel took over, "expertly" unwrapping the umbilical cord from around his body and placing the newborn on her chest. 

A nurse Pat says he recognised from the local medical centre emerged from the supermarket to help, assisted him in gathering towels. 

"Meanwhile the midwife was driving 100km/h to Rolleston so she was a couple of minutes away - she actually went to Countdown first, she went to the wrong supermarket," Pat laughed. 

Soon after, the ambulance arrived, and "basically completely naked" Mel was assisted into it to birth the placenta. 

"Everyone was in the ambulance and I was just sitting with Elliot in the car," Pat recounted. 

Medical workers wanted to take Mel to Christchurch Women's Hospital in town, but "they couldn't take Elliot in the ambulance". 

"We had to dress him, and put him in the car capsule," said Pat. "Then I drove the 20 minutes into town with him in the back and the front passenger seat covered in... everything.

"It's a good thing you have muscle memory when driving because I was so in shock, there was no way I should have been driving!" 

Mel Wyatt with baby Elliot in hospital
Mum Mel looking unbelievably fresh, given the ordeal, holding baby Elliot. Photo credit: Supplied.

Baby Elliot was born at 4:35pm, one hour after Mel's water broke, at an extremely healthy 8 pounds 11. 

The whole family is home now and Pat said it was the kind of thing you want to happen in Rolleston, calling the outer-Christchurch suburb "a real community". 

"Everyone was super helpful, the New World staff were amazing - the workers came out and gave me a cuddle," he said. 

New World Rolleston owner Tracey Anderson told Newshub the birth was "a lovely thing to happen on a busy day". 

"You don't expect to go to work and be part of the birth of a baby but our team and checkout manager Margaret te Mete did a fabulous job providing as much support as they could for the new parents," she said. 

"We are thrilled that mum and baby are doing well, and we're reaching out to send the new family a welcome to the world gift. "

Knackered from his exciting entrance into the world, baby Elliot slept from 1:30am until 9am this morning. 

Pat said both mother and baby are "awesome".  

"Mel didn't miss a beat - she's amazing," he added. 

"It all happened so fast, it's almost like it didn't happen." 

Baby Elliot sleeping soundly after his dramatic entrance into the world.
Baby Elliot sleeping soundly after his dramatic entrance into the world. Photo credit: Supplied.

He posted on the local community Facebook page thanking the public for their help in a post that's now racked up almost 2000 likes. 

Nurse Emily Bell, who assisted the family in the car park, took to the comments to say she "wasn't quite sure what to expect when there was a call over the loudspeakers asking for a nurse or doctor". 

"You didn't need us though, you were the dream team. Well done mum and dad," she added.