WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A New Zealand politician with Minnesota roots gives new meaning to being in labor, after she rode her bike to the hospital to deliver her baby.
Julie Anne Genter, a member of the country's parliament who was born in Rochester, gave birth to her new daughter Sunday morning. She told the New Zealand news outlet Stuff that she planned to make the 10-minute trek riding in the front of a cargo bike driven by her partner, Peter Nunns, but found that with her loaded hospital bag it was too much weight.
Instead, the avid cyclist “just got out and rode.”
Genter, 41, delivered her daughter less than an hour after arriving at the hospital.
"I genuinely wasn’t planning to cycle in labour, but it did end up happening," she wrote in a Facebook post announcing the new arrival. "My contractions weren’t that bad when we left at 2am to go to the hospital - though they were 2-3 min apart and picking up in intensity by the time we arrived 10 minutes later. And amazingly now we have a healthy, happy little one sleeping, as is her dad."
The intrepid Green Party member also biked to the hospital in 2018 before labor was induced for her first child’s birth. She rode an electric bike to the hospital that time, she said, and that trip was mostly downhill. She is an avid cyclist, who often extolls the benefits biking has on the environment and frequently pushes for safe cycling and pedestrian lanes.
Her party shared the news of her baby’s birth on Saturday. “We love that you cycled to the hospital AGAIN (classic).”
Genter was born in southeastern Minnesota and grew up in Los Angeles. She eventually moved to New Zealand to achieve a Masters Degree in planning from the University of Auckland, and never left.