This week was a busy one for New Zealand’s Nicola Manson.
Manson, a member of the New Zealand Labour Party, ended up biking nearly 35 kilometers with a baby on board to her newborn’s hospital, a 54-minute journey.
During the journey, a barman-turned-teacher from Otago University attempted to calm the anxieties of the newly “super-active mom.”
“You know Nicola’s had lots of work commitments because of the cycling, and lots of patients to manage, and no time for the sheer run of traffic,” colleague Chris Alcock told the Otago Daily Times. “You know Nicola’s a fighter and very prepared, so we anticipated she would handle all that.”
Manson told the Times she had been “struggling” to push hard enough because her bicycle was no match for her growing uterus.
“I got to about halfway round and it was just kicking and pushing,” she said. “I had the top of my bike ripped off … and the spokes just popped.”
Still, she figured a speedy trip would be all it took to deliver her baby boy with other than the 11-hour drive to hospital.
“So I had a really comfortable ride. I had a barman beside me a few riders,” she said. “I felt great. I was just one of the girls down at the back of the peloton, right next to him.”
Luckily, the doctor of the hospital she was headed to was nearby. The labor progressed quickly enough that the pregnancy ended up being a surprise. Her waters broke at 24 minutes and the baby arrived at 35 minutes.
“I thought, ‘Oh, it’s happening today,’” she said. “As soon as I felt his head, I just could not look away.”
She called up her father and sister, who were both home from work to watch her. They were both on their way home when the baby arrived, so their world fell into another state entirely.
“The boys were asleep and ready to go to bed, and I was like, ‘Wow,’” she said. “They’re really, really good at staying in bed until things happen.”
All that was missing from her life was a mirror.
“I didn’t even realize at the time that he was like me and I was him until I looked in the mirror,” she said. “The first two or three days he was very uncomfortable and looked a bit like me.”
Luckily, the babies had caught onto to how they were related early on and dressed themselves in similar outfits, according to the Times.
Manson made it through her home life as a single mother, with her five children. With the two new children, she said, she and her husband will welcome a big family.
“New Zealanders are very responsible parents,” she said. “Every family has got one more, but we are keeping the house.”