Pregnancy & Birth

The Bachelor NZ's Claudia Conaglen's dramatic emergency Caesarean birth

''If we had waited another 20 minutes, she wouldn't have made it... I'm just so glad and grateful that she's here today.''

By Ellen Mackenzie

Claudia Conaglen made a name for herself on The Bachelor NZ after failing to win Jordan Mauger's heart, so it was only fitting that when she finally went into labour at almost 42 weeks with her first child, she was sitting on the couch watching an episode of The Bachelor Australia!

But little did the social media influencer know at the time that her 32-hour labour and emergency Caesarean would be more dramatic than an episode of the hit reality show she starred on.

"The first few weeks have been hard. I could barely lift my girl because I was in so much pain from the surgery," says Claudia, 32, as she cradles baby Tahira in her Hawke's Bay home. "But I'm just so happy she's here and alive."

Claudia started the early stages of labour on August 31, but she had an agonising 24 hours of waiting before she was far enough along to go to the hospital.

The couple's blissful January nuptials.
The couple's blissful January nuptials.

"I've never broken a bone or anything my whole life," she tells. "So my body was in so much shock from the pain and I'd started vomiting uncontrollably the next day."

Her husband Paul "Bluey" Ejamme, 29, decided to take her to the hospital but when she arrived, she was still only 5cm dilated.

"I really wanted a natural birth, but at that point, I was like, 'I need an epidural!'" she recalls.

When it finally came time to push seven hours later, Claudia was still struggling.

"A new doctor came in and he realised the baby had passed meconium, meaning she was now breathing in her own poop, and we needed to do a C-section," she explains.

Next minute, Claudia was rushed into theatre with a swarm of medical staff around her. The moment the baby was out, she was rushed into the corner and put on oxygen.

During the C-section, the doctor also discovered that Tahira had turned into the posterior position because of the stress and Claudia never would have been able to deliver her naturally.

"If we had waited another 20 minutes, she wouldn't have made it," Claudia shudders. "I'm just so glad and grateful that she's here today."