Most couples who are expecting a baby are worried about whether they will make it to the hospital in time. We had that same concern, and it ended up that it became our worst nightmare. Our baby boy, Matthew Ray Park, was born about 5:30 a.m. on August 6, 2014 in the car as we were headed to the hospital. He was 6 lbs. 5 oz. and 19.5 inches long. We are excited that he is finally here, but the delivery happened much faster than expected!
On the week of July 27, I had contractions almost every other day for 2-3 hours at a time. Then the contractions would stop. We kept my mother-in-law informed so she was ready to head over to watch our girls when we needed to head to the hospital. But we didn’t end up going to the hospital that week.
On Monday, August 4, I met with my doctor. After she checked me, she said that the baby’s head was very low. She also said to come directly to the hospital if I had contractions that started hurting.
At 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 6, I woke up to contractions that were starting to hurt. I thought it best to time them for one hour to make sure they weren’t going to stop again. At 4:30 a.m., I woke up my husband and told him that it was time to head to the hospital. He then called his mother and asked her to come in. She lives about 30 minutes from our house, but at the time the contractions weren’t too bad, and we figured we would have enough time to get to the hospital.
Once my mother-in-law arrived, we headed out to the car. I sat down in the car, while my husband went to put the girls’ car seats in my mother-in-law’s car, just in case she needed to take them with her while we were gone. Well, this is when things took an unexpected turn. Colten hadn’t quite finished buckling the car seats in her car when my contractions started to really hurt. I yelled his name and said that we needed to go now.
He stopped what he was doing and wasn’t able to finish securing the car seats. He got in the car, and we headed out. I told him to start driving as fast as possible. My contractions started to get more intense, and I realized that we might not make it to the hospital we were to deliver at, which was 30 minutes away. Well, we didn’t even make it a mile from our house, and I knew we were in trouble because right then during a contraction I felt the baby’s head pop out. I started yelling for Colten to pull over because the baby’s head was out. The Tooele hospital was about 5 minutes from our house, but we wouldn’t have even made it there because the delivery happened so fast.
Colten immediately pulled over across from Soelberg’s Grocery store at the intersection of SR-138 and SR-36 and ran around to my side of the car. He then put his hands under the baby’s head and the rest of the baby’s body just slipped out. My husband is so amazing with how well he handled the situation. He immediately swiped out the baby’s mouth a few times and got it to start breathing. I called 911, and they began to walk us through what we needed to do right then.
The 911 caller asked if the baby was breathing, which I mentioned that he was. She then said to take clean blankets and wrap them around the baby. Luckily, my husband was inspired to grab towels from the house right before we left. I didn’t think to pack any to take with us. The 911 caller then said to take some string and tie off the umbilical cord. When she said that, I was thinking, “We are in a car. Where are we going to find some string?” Well, my amazing husband within seconds took his pocket knife and cut his shoelace to be able to tie off the umbilical cord.
By the time he did this, the ambulance arrived. The paramedics then properly clamped off the umbilical cord and let Colten cut it. Colten held the baby while the paramedics helped me onto the wheeling bed and rolled me into the ambulance. Colten then handed me the baby.
While the ambulance drove me and the baby to the hospital, the paramedic checked our vitals to make sure we were doing okay. They then called the hospital to say that I’d be arriving shortly. Once there, they rolled me into a labor and delivery room. It so happened that my doctor had just finished another delivery and was already at the hospital. The nurse told my doctor that one of her patients had just arrived after delivering the baby in the car. My doctor looked at the nurse and said, “It was Lisa wasn’t it?” She knew it was me because she had just checked me on Monday. My doctor then came in and finished up things by delivering the placenta and stitching me up.
Delivering a baby in the car is something I hoped would never happen to me and my husband, but unfortunately, it did. I am grateful for a wonderful husband who kept a clear head through the whole ordeal. I am also grateful that there were no complications during the delivery, that the baby started breathing right away, and that he is healthy and doing well. Looking back, it was a scary experience. But now that it’s over and we can laugh about it, we will have quite the story to share with Matthew when he is older.