Nathanael Mark Bay was unexpectedly born in the disabled toilet of Costco Westgate yesterday, as his mother Gill shopped for a baby shower.
Gill, a primary school teacher, and her husband Keith, a mental health support worker, were preparing to celebrate the impending arrival of their first child. Nathanael, weighing 1.5kg (3lb 4oz), arrived more than a month early but is ‘healthy and beautiful’, according to his mother.
The incident began when Gill returned to Costco’s bathroom after initially leaving the store. A Costco worker and another woman helped her move to the disabled toilet, where she realised she was in labour. With her husband and a Costco staff member assisting, following instructions from a 111 operator, Nathanael was born after a single push, caught by his father.
Nathanael’s birth was unique as it was an en caul birth, a rare occurrence where the baby and placenta are entirely encased in an un-ruptured amniotic sac, happening in fewer than one in 80,000 vaginal deliveries. The parents initially panicked due to the lack of newborn cries, but relief came when a Costco staff member opened the sac and Nathanael cried.
The birth attracted the attention of shoppers, who congratulated the couple as they were wheeled out to a waiting ambulance. Gill expressed gratitude for the support from Costco staff, paramedics, and the Waitākere Maternity team.
Gill, who still finds it hard to believe the birth happened at Costco, expects Nathanael to be nicknamed ‘Costco Baby’.