A baby is born on the passenger seat

Every time a child is born, it is a unique, wonderful and unforgettable event. But not every birth is as spectacular as that of Daniel Bögel: he was born in a Mobility vehicle. In spite of this – or perhaps because of it – his family couldn’t have wished for a better birth.


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Alexander Bögel, it is fair to say, is a hardcore Mobility user. For over 15 years, he has consistently used car sharing for both work and pleasure. His second job after gaining a degree in electrical engineering? Developer at the company that produces the hardware used in Mobility vehicles. But even Alexander is not such a hardened car sharing enthusiast that he would go as far as to plan the birth of his son in a Mobility car. It took a few twists of fate for the passenger seat of a Renault Mégane to be the scene of this amazing event.

The plan

Originally, Natasha Shea and Alexander Bögel wanted a home birth at their flat in Zurich’s Holzerhurd district. Four-year-old Samuel would have especially happy welcomed that – he was really keen to be in on the action. “But I was sceptical about whether I would want that,” says Natasha. So the plan was this: as soon as there were signs that things were going to start, Alexander would take Samuel to a friend’s house and then pop back home for the birth.

When there were indications that something might be happening one January morning, Natasha went to the midwife for a check-up. She discovered slight abnormalities and advised against a home birth to be on the safe side. Meanwhile, Alexander took the precaution of reserving a vehicle for a day and a half. Thanks to having already experienced a birth before – also using Mobility to get to the hospital – and having taken a preparatory course, he’d obviously developed a good instinct.

The new plan – and what actually happened.

“The midwife said everything was fine, I was just having mild contractions,” said Natasha. She called Alexander, who put Samuel in the car and drove off. The new plan was that she would take the bus to meet them, then they would drive to the hospital where Natasha would stay while Alexander took Samuel to a girlfriend – but this plan didn’t last long either. As she was standing at the bus stop, things really started to move: “Daniel had made his decision: time to go for it!” As she wasn't keen to give birth on a bus, she waited at the corner of Langstrasse and Badenerstrasse – at four degrees Celsius, with the contractions getting stronger all the time. But the red estate car simply did not appear – the traffic on Limmatstrasse was in gridlock.

After endless minutes, Natasha was finally sitting in the passenger seat: “with my last functioning brain cells,” as she put it, she entered Limmattal hospital in the satnav – this was where she was registered if a hospital birth was needed spontaneously. The trip was to last twelve minutes – twelve very exciting minutes in which Alexander steered the car as carefully as possible through the traffic, supporting his wife to the best of his ability, while the miracle of birth unfolded before their very eyes on the passenger seat.

When they arrived at the hospital, Alexander dashed in to get help. In the car, meanwhile, the grand finale was taking place: “I pushed once or twice – and suddenly he was there. Luckily, Daniel screamed his heart out right away.” By now the midwife had joined them, and with Natasha still in the car, the midwife cut the umbilical cord and took the little guy into the hospital for a check-up. The result: he was 50 centimetres tall and weighed in at 3,570 grams – and most importantly of all, he was in perfect health.

In retrospect: the perfect birth

The Bögels would not recommend other parents to plan to have a birth in a car. But in their case everything turned out perfectly: the child and mother were in fine health, plus it was an uncomplicated and quick birth with little pain – apparently a car seat doesn’t make for the worst position in the event of precipitate labour. And as a bonus, so to speak, big brother was able to witness the event after all. “Samuel did say it was a bit noisy – but it was a great experience for him, too. Afterwards, he had a huge smile on his face all day,” says Natasha. “I’m really happy he was there.”

<br/> We at Mobility warmly congratulate the young family on their addition and to be honest, we’re actually a little proud to have been part of the story. And things will stay that way, because Mobility could almost be said to be the Bögels’ family vehicle: when big brother sees a red vehicle on the road, he calls it “our car”. Little brother will soon be able to enjoy his first Mobility ride, too – or rather his second. And lots more, if he wants: we’ve given the Mobility baby lifetime membership!

Natasha, Daniel, Alexander & Samuel

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