At 39 weeks into her pregnancy, entertainer Alyssa-Jane Cook was so big she was struggling for each breath. It was such a concern that her doctor thought it wise to schedule an early induction.
But her bolshy yet-to-be-born son, Lucca James Anthony Davis, had other ideas. Two days before AJ was booked into Sydney's Mater Hospital he began to make his traumatic and dramatic entrance into the world.
"I had never felt pain like it," admits AJ, already mother to two daughters, Georgia-May, 11, and Ruby-May, 8. After being rushed to hospital, AJ was given the bad news her trusted obstetrician was on holidays and she'd been allotted a locum.
"It wasn't an ideal situation but she turned out to be a very competent doctor – especially when we were down to the tin tacks of giving birth and things suddenly started going wrong."
Husband Gary Davis and Alyssa-Jane's birth partners, her mother Diane and best friend Alison Gallagher, could see the worried look on the doctor's face when the baby had almost arrived.
"I could sense things were wrong," says Gary, 41. "The midwife must have hit some panic button because suddenly in came about six people including a specialist midwife.
"The cord was caught round his neck so the doctor had to reach in and try to release it and at that stage she started looking really concerned. Suddenly the umbilical cord split. It was panic stations then and they had to get the baby out quickly so he could breathe on his own. He came out covered in blood and quite blue. And the medical team all gathered around him in a flash."
"You start to think all these dreadful things … what if he has brain damage? All the what-ifs," says the former E Street star, who had been apprehensive throughout her pregnancy because of her older-mum status at age 40.
"Thankfully his heart range hadn't changed throughout the ordeal, so everything was cool but we were freaking out because you think the worst, of course."
Within half an hour little Lucca – who wasn't so little at 3.7kg – was given the all clear, his blue lips now a healthy plump pink, and AJ was able to bond with the boy…
For the full story see this week's Woman's Day
(on-sale July 16)