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Tatura family deliver baby at home as storm rages on outside

By Liz Mellino

Little Charlie has a story to tell that sets him apart from most other newborns.

During the storm that lashed the region on Saturday, February 8, Charlie was getting ready to make his debut to the world.

A week out for his due date, mum Tracey Forster did not expect Charlie to be delivered that day — especially not in the family's bathroom at their Tatura home.

“It is not what we had planned but we wouldn't change a thing about it,” Tracey said.

“Anything this little guy comes up against he will just cruise through it because being born during that storm the way it was, with trampolines flying around, this little guy will just breeze through life. Nothing will bother him, I don't reckon.”

While the family's Saturday may have started out calm, things quickly took a turn.

A keen golfer, Ryan spent the morning at Tatura Golf Club, teeing off around 6.30 am to beat the heat, which eventually peaked at 43°C.

Returning home around 11 am, Ryan found Tracey experiencing what she believed were "general" pregnancy aches and pains.

“I had been having them for the last couple of days on and off, so I didn't think anything of it,” Tracey said.

“I thought I would go and jump in the bath to relax. I thought it would ease off and go away but it didn't — once I got in the bath it picked up, big time.”

Charlie is the third child for Ryan and Tracey.

After texting her sister and niece, who live an hour-and-a-half away, to get on the road, Tracey and Ryan agreed the situation had quickly become serious.

Sitting in the bath, Tracey said her contractions had started to become more regular and her chances of making it to hospital in time slowly started to slip away.

“I was still trying to coax Tracey out of the bath and into the car to go to hospital, I was freaking out a little bit,” Ryan said.

Tracey, who is a hypno-birthing specialist, said she quickly put her own techniques to good use.

Using special oils and positive affirmations, Tracey said she was able to keep calm and focus on what was happening.

While she remained calm, Ryan admitted this was not the case for him, as he made a frantic call to 000 to inform them Tracey was in labour.

“I said, ‘I'm going to go and ring an ambulance’ and Tracey piped up and said, ‘I don’t need an ambulance'. I said, ‘I need the ambulance’ — the ambulance was for me at that stage because I was freaking,” he said.

“You hear the stories of people who have babies on the side of the road really quickly and things can happen, so I rang them and they were trying to talk me through where it was at.”

Baby Charlie was safely delievered at the couple's Tatura home.

While the ambulance arrived soon after, Ryan said they were not completely out of the woods, with the weather taking a turn for the worse as the raging storm hit town.

While Tracey had begun to push, Ryan had to run outside mid-storm to save two trampolines that were flying around their yard.

“The trampoline from two doors down came over the house and landed in the front yard in front of the ambulance, so we had to drag that off the street and tuck it in so it didn’t keep blowing away,” he said.

“Our trampoline also took off and took the swing set out and it was banging up against the gate, all while we still had carnage with the strong wind.

“We managed to pull it apart in about two minutes while Tracey was giving birth.”

Ryan said he made it back inside just in time to witness little Charlie entering the world.

“I said to Ryan, ‘Come close’, because I knew Charlie was coming and he just shot out like a rocket — and somehow the ambulance officer managed to catch him,” Tracey said.

After a quick check by ambulance personnel, the healthy baby boy was handed to the relieved couple.

The storm had died down and Ryan and Tracey were able to come to terms with what had just happened.

“For me, I was in shock. I thought this is insane that this happened at home,” Ryan said.

“It was a very eventful birth, that's for sure.”

To top off the birth of their beautiful new son, Tracey and Ryan were pleased to learn later that evening that Ryan had taken out the day's A grade golf competition.

With the missing piece to their family puzzle complete and a trophy to sit proudly on the mantelpiece, the couple agreed they would be telling the story of that day for years to come.

“We had a really good day: I hadn't won A grade golf before, so Charlie must be our little good-luck charm,” Ryan said.