Starting life in the bus lane

Ylana and Alain Giauque with Luke, who was born at the bus stop, and Isabelle. Pictures: Francois W, Snappr Photography

By Melissa Grant

Little Luke Giauque started life in the fast lane – or more precisely the bus lane – after his speedy arrival on Wellington Road.

The Wheelers Hill boy burst into the world on 11 December 2018 in a quick 45-minute labour that started at home and ended in an ambulance at a bus stop on the busy thoroughfare.

Mum Ylana was being driven by her father, Chris Burton, to Clayton’s Jessie McPherson Private Hospital in peak hour traffic when it became evident they weren’t going to make it to the birthing ward.

“He (Luke) was part way down, so I said ‘we need to call an ambulance, I’m not going to make it’,” Ylana recalled.

“Dad was on the phone to the ambulance and driving at the same time.

“We went onto Wellington Road and it was bumper to bumper. The ambos said ‘just pull over somewhere, we need to meet you’.“

They pulled over at a bus stop near the corner of Elvara Court and the Wellington Rd Service Road in Mulgrave, with paramedics arriving shortly afterwards.

A second ambulance, which had a midwife on board, also pulled up.

It was just in the nick of time too.

“His head was almost out in the car,” Ylana said.

“It was lucky the ambulance got there just in time as I was able to get onto the stretcher and into the ambulance. Then it was one push and he was out.”

Luke Alain Giauque was born at 9.45am on 11 December, two days before his due date, weighing a healthy 3.14kg.

Luke’s birth was so quick that his father, Alain, missed it. Alain, an engineer, had been working in the city when he received a frantic phone call from his father-in-law to advise that Ylana was in labour. He jumped onto an express train to Clayton, but that wasn’t fast enough to get him to Wellington Road in time, so he headed straight to the birthing unit.

Ylana said she had little warning that Luke was on his way.

The relief teacher was at home looking after her daughter Isabelle when she started to feel off.

Fortunately, her father was visiting the house to offer some support given the due date was approaching.

“I went outside to tell my dad I wasn’t feeling that well, that I just wanted to sit down for 10 or 15 minutes,“ Ylana said.

“I laid down in bed and within 15 minutes I was like ‘dad, we have to go to the hospital’. The pain went from mild cramping, to extreme hunched over pain.”

The time from those pains to Luke’s arrival was a mere 45 minutes.

Her four-year-old daughter Isabelle’s birth was also relatively quick at six hours from start to finish.

Isabelle wasn’t the first fast labour in the family either.

“The funny thing was my sister was born at home in the house we are currently living in – it was just that fast,” Ylana said.

“It must run in the family.”

While Luke was fine when he arrived, his grandfather was not.

“My dad was white for three days. He was so shaken and shocked. He was about to deliver him!” Ylana said.

Luke’s arrival at the bus stop was so quick that nobody thought, or had time, to take some photos. So on Luke’s first birthday, the Giauques returned to the same bus stop with a professional photographer for some special family pictures.

Ylana is just glad she didn’t do the food shopping, as planned, on the day that Luke decided to make his grand arrival.

“I was supposed to drop Issy off at mum and dad’s and to go do grocery shopping. If I had done that he would have been born at Aldi!”