NEW ARRIVAL: Baby boy Olwami Zipho
Nomvezeko Ncetuwa said she was caught completely off guard when she went into labour with her second child nearly three weeks before her due date while on her way to the hospital.

She was speaking shortly after being discharged from hospital with her healthy bundle of joy.

The single mother, who was forced to give birth on the side of the M1 last Tuesday with the help of Joburg metro police Inspector Frieda Ramafemo, on Monday said she started feeling pains in her abdomen that afternoon while she was home in Thokoza.

Though, at the time, Ncetuwa didn’t think she was experiencing labour pains, she decided to go to the hospital to make sure nothing was wrong.

“I did not think I was in labour, as my due date was supposed to be June 18,” Ncetuwa said.

However, once she was in an Uber, she realised the pains she was feeling were labour pains, and she began to panic. She told her driver that she was experiencing contractions and was worried she would have her baby before they reached the hospital. The driver pulled over and he began trying to flag down help in the cold and rainy weather.

Ramafemo stopped on her way home from work to see what was the matter. She said when she learnt Ncetuwa was in labour, she began to panic and prayed that an ambulance would arrive before the child.

“I asked what was happening and I saw that she was pregnant and I said ‘please, God, no,’” Ramafemo said.

The officer said she had no idea what to do to assist with a delivery, but Ncetuwa began crying and begging for help.

After learning that all ambulances were out and would not be able to assist, Ncetuwa lay down in the back of the Uber on top of Ramafemo’s jerseys. The officer helped her to keep breathing and stay calm as Ncetuwa’s second child was born less than 30 minutes after she arrived.

“It was better that I had the inspector with me because if I was alone I don’t know what I was going to do,” Ncetuwa said. “She helped me a lot.”

Paramedics in a passing ambulance assisted in cleaning the baby and cutting the umbilical cord, then told the new mother to wait for another ambulance.

Ncetuwa wasn’t the only person who was relieved and excited by the birth of her son.

“I sat with them, I took photos, I was so excited,” Ramafemo said.

As the group waited for a second ambulance, Ncetuwa named her new son Olwami, then asked her de facto midwife to give her baby his second name. She said she was grateful for the officer’s help. The overwhelmed Ramafemo named the child Zipho, meaning gift.

An excited Ncetuwa yesterday said she and Olwami Zipho were doing well, and that MMC for public safety Michael Sun had been in touch with her about visiting, but that a date had not yet been set. The officer said she also hoped to visit soon, but believed the mother left for her home in the Eastern Cape yesterday.

@LilaWReynolds @Chulu_M