Amyah Farooq nearly upstaged the Rocky RiverFest attractions on Sunday when her mother went into labour in a fairy floss stall
Amyah Farooq nearly upstaged the Rocky RiverFest attractions on Sunday when her mother went into labour in a fairy floss stall Jann Houley

Baby Amyah nearly Rocky River Festival's newest attraction

ONE of Rockhampton's newest residents was determined to get a look at the Riverfest before it packed up for another year.

Baby Amyah's mother, Taylor-Leigh Farooq has worked with FunTime Amusements since her brother bought the business 13 years ago, travelling all over the region to offer kiddie rides and sweet treats.

At forty weeks pregnant "plus one day", she hesitated to join in the River Festival, but the hospital advised the baby wasn't ready to be born yet.

Mrs Farooq and her five-year-old son headed off to the festivities on Sunday.

 

QAS staff had to manoeuvre around the Riverfest to stretcher Taylor-Leigh to hospital
QAS staff had to manoeuvre around the Riverfest to stretcher Taylor-Leigh to hospital contributed

"There were huge crowds along the riverbank queueing for rides on the Megaslide and the Rockwall," she said.

"And our newest attraction, the 11-car dodgem track was proving very popular too."

Mrs Farooq's mother, Kylie Cox, told her to walk around to get the labour started, but the pregnant Mum sat herself down at the back of the fudge and fairy floss tent.

And that's where, at 12 noon, her waters broke.

"Mum was serving a customer so I waited in the chair before I told her what had happened," she said.

Mrs Cox admitted she panicked at first.

"I left her sitting there and I called my daughter-in-law," she said.

"Then I remembered to call the ambulance."

 

Taylor-Leigh and Amyah Farooq on Monday in the Rockhampton hospital
Taylor-Leigh and Amyah Farooq on Monday in the Rockhampton hospital Jann Houley

Quick-thinking staff dropped the front canvas to give her some privacy, but at one point there were about 30 people milling about.

"Next to our stall, Big Mama (Estera Ast) was calling out, "free donuts, free donuts, we're having a baby"." Mrs Cox said.

"A nurse, who was at the festival, came over to take charge of things before the ambulance arrived. She was brilliant; she calmed down everyone in the tent."

People stood and stared as she was stretchered off to the hospital, where Amyah entered the world at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

"The joke was, I was supposed to help pack up the rides at 4 o'clock so at 3.58 I said 'I'm going to be late'," Mrs Farooq said.

"The nurse said, 'Better push then' - two pushes and Amyah was out."

Mrs Farooq said a number of people asked whether she might call the baby Fitzroy or Riverfest or Adani.

But since she learned she was pregnant, after four years trying, she said she hoped for a girl and to call her Amyah.

Now Amyah's part of the FunTime family, and has her own little shirt to show for it, she'll always be able to tell the story of how she was almost born on the job.



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