‘Mmm I’m starving,’ I said, as I sat down at the table ready to tuck into dinner with my husband, Eniola, 38.
But just as I picked up my knife and fork, I felt a sharp twinge in my tummy.’
Everything ok?’ Eniola asked, looking worried.
‘Ouch,’ I winced, clutching my huge baby bump.
I was just weeks away from my due date and aware our little one could arrive any minute.
But having had two little boys before – Dade, five, and Ire, two – I knew the signs of labour all too well.
‘I think the baby’s coming,’ I cried, feeling a gush of water between my legs, as I took short, sharp breaths.
My contractions started coming thick and fast.
‘I don’t think we’ve got much time,’ I said to Eniola. ‘We need to get to hospital quickly.’
He called St Thomas Hospital, London, and they told us to get in a taxi and hurry to the maternity ward.
‘Ok,’ Eniola said. ‘I’ll book an Uber.’
We gave up on our meal, he grabbed my hospital bag and we headed out the door.
Within minutes, our cab had pulled up outside our home in New Cross, Deptford, London.
Eniola bundled me into the back of the Skoda Octavia and we asked the driver, Sheriff, 55, to put his foot down.
‘My wife’s about to give birth,’ Eniola explained.’Oh my,’ he said, shocked.
‘I’ll do my best to get you there as fast as possible.’
Sheriff put his foot down, weaving through the traffic, whilst trying not to run any red traffic lights.
‘Argghhhhh,’ I groaned in the back, in agony.
We’d only been driving for a few minutes when I felt the baby coming.
Before we got anywhere near the hospital, I knew I had to pull down my dress as I could feel the baby’s head crowning.
The poor Uber driver didn’t know where to look.
I felt down there and told Eniola: ‘I can feel the baby’s head.’
‘Surely not,’ he panicked.
He was on the phone to the hospital the whole time and I could hear them saying: ‘Just hold on, you’re almost here.’
But I couldn’t stop.I didn’t even need to push – our little one just suddenly plopped out in the footwell.
Within 10 minutes of my waters breaking she was here on the floor of the vehicle.
I scooped her up and placed her on my chest and I wrapped my jacket and Eniola’s scarf around her to keep her warm.
It wasn’t long before we pulled up to the hospital and a team of medics met us in the car park armed with blankets and a wheelchair.
‘We can’t thank you enough,’ Eniola told the Uber driver, who looked rather dazed by the whole experience.
The midwives couldn’t take the baby from me as we were still connected by the umbilical cord so I was rushed upstairs.
It was such a quick, easy and painless birth.
We weren’t expecting it to be so fast.
After we got checked over, I delivered the placenta and we were cleaned up, I cradled my baby daughter in my arms.
‘She’s beautiful,’ I sighed, soaking up her little button nose and rosebud lips.
We decided to name her Florance.
We had to check our Uber receipt to predict what time she arrived – and settled on 5.13pm on 20th January 2019.
At hospital, they weighed her and found out she was a perfect 6lbs 8oz.
Eniola made sure we gave our Uber driver a big tip at the end of the journey – to thank him for his help.
I don’t think he knew what he’d let himself in for when he pulled up to pick us up.
He did all he could to get us to the maternity unit without speeding or breaking the law and with me screaming in the back – but Florance was just too impatient.
I was already a mum-of-two so I thought I knew what to expect when I went into labour, but Florance’s speedy arrival even took me by surprise.
An Uber spokesperson said: “We are delighted that Lara and her baby are doing well.
“Sherif remained calm under pressure and ensured they arrived safely to the hospital.
“Uber is proud to play a small part in helping this new family when they needed a quick, reliable ride the most.”
Uber driver Sherif Cacaj from Deptford, London, had been an Uber driver for six months at the time and was shocked to find he had an extra passenger.
He said: “First the lady in my car said: ‘It’s coming, it’s coming’ and the next thing I knew she said ‘the baby is out’ and it was crying.
“I just drove as fast as I could to get to the hospital in about five/six minutes.
“The parents told me it was a little girl. They were a really nice family.
“The car was a bit messy, but not too much.”