Journalist turns midwife, helps to deliver nephew in car

JOHOR BARU: For years, journalist Ernalisa Othman wrote many stories of emergency childbirths.

But she had never imagined that she would turn out to be the story when she helped deliver a baby in a car.

“It was a ‘bloody’ affair but I will never forget the experience of helping to deliver my nephew Ean Esmael Ezwan in the car,” said Ernalisa.

The 36-year-old said she was fast asleep when her brother Ezwan Othman, 42, knocked on her bedroom door at around 5.45am on Tuesday (July 26).

“I opened the door to find him in a state of panic. He told me his pregnant wife Nur Faraheen Ali was in labour ahead of her expected delivery date on Aug 11.

“Our mother was away at a relative’s house in Singapore, so I called Hospital Sultan Ismail for an ambulance.

“However, I was told that none was available at the time and it would take 45 minutes before an ambulance could reach our house in Taman Saujana, Plentong here,” she said.

Instead of waiting, Ernalisa said she and her brother decided to drive Nur Faraheen to the hospital as the 33-year-old was already in severe pain.

“Before we could depart, my sister-in-law went into labour. I looked at my brother and he looked quite lost so I decided to take the matter into my own hands.

“I called the hospital again and had a medical officer on the line coaching me on my every move, including wiping blood off the newborn’s face and body as well as cutting the umbilical cord by using a piece of shoelace,” said Ernalisa, who currently works at online news portal MalaysiaGazette here.

She said her brother then drove Nur Faraheen and their newborn baby to the hospital to get checked.

The healthy infant, the couple’s second child, weighed 2.56kg.

For Ernalisa, it was a job well done and she went to work as usual after that.

She felt her 17 years’ experience as a journalist taught her to remain calm as she had faced unexpected and extraordinary situations.

“Despite feeling anxious, I kept reminding myself not to panic and listen to the medical officer’s instructions clearly.

“After witnessing childbirth, I realised how big a mother’s sacrifice is and I am grateful to be part of it,” she said, hoping the hospital could also improve its ambulance services.