42 weeks pregnant, New Zealand minister cycles to hospital
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — It was a beautiful morning, according to New Zealand’s minister for women, so after 42 weeks of pregnancy she decided to hop on her electric bicycle and ride to the hospital to give birth to her first child.
Julie Anne Genter this week posted a picture of herself outside the Auckland City Hospital holding her bike, saying she was ready to be induced and “finally have this baby.”
“This is it, wish us luck!” she wrote, adding that “My partner and I cycled because there wasn’t enough room in the car for the support crew ... but it also put me in the best possible mood!”
Genter announced that she’d given birth Tuesday evening to a healthy boy weighing nearly 4.3 kilograms (9.5 pounds).
“We waited a very long time for labor to start, but when it did it was short and sharp,” she wrote on Facebook.
She was congratulated on Twitter by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who gave birth to a daughter, Neve, two months ago.
“So pleased to hear of the safe arrival of the newest addition to the parliamentary play group,” Ardern wrote. “Hope you enjoy those very special first few days.”
Genter’s ride to the hospital made news around the world, and her Instagram photo was noticed by actress Kristen Bell, who wrote on Twitter “what a babe.”
Genter, 38, wrote that the ride with partner Peter Nunns was “mostly downhill” and joked that she “probably should have cycled more in the last few weeks,” in order to start her labor earlier.
Ardern, 38, was just the second elected world leader in modern times to give birth while holding office, after late Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto gave birth to daughter Bakhtawar in 1990.
Ardern is admired by many working women around the world. She and Genter gave birth at the same public hospital.
Genter was born in Minnesota and graduated from U.C. Berkeley before moving to New Zealand in 2006. A member of the liberal Green Party, Genter is also associate minister for transport and a strong advocate for cycling.
The Green Party tweeted that her ride to the hospital was “the most #onbrand thing ever.”
Genter said she wasn’t planning on cycling home from the hospital and instead would ride in an electric car with her mother and her baby, while other relatives would ride the bikes home.
“I cycled to the hospital for the joy of it!” she wrote on Facebook, adding that she “knew it may be last ride for a few weeks.”