Melissa Maher's new baby will have quite the story to tell about the day she was delivered in the middle of rush hour traffic, a block away from a St. John’s hospital.
Baby Julia's parents and grandmother were on their way to the Health Sciences Centre on Prince Phillip Parkway when they realized they weren’t going to make it.
“I knew then we were in a very scary situation,” said Maher.
Maher had actually gone to the hospital hours earlier, but was advised to go home.
Hospital officials told her to come back when her water broke or when her contractions progressed.
When her water did break several hours later at her home in Torbay, Maher and her family decided to drive to the hospital.
“We thought we’d make it,” said Maher.
Maher’s husband Tommy honked his horn, flashed his emergency lights, and drove as quickly as he could to get them to the hospital, but traffic was backed up.
“I never imagined that we would end up delivering [Julia] in the back seat of the car,” said Maher.
“I was very nervous and very scared that the baby wouldn’t be okay. You’re not meant to deliver in your car. It’s not what you think when you have a birth plan.”
Maher’s mother-in-law and impromptu labour coach, Mary Hann, was in the car with her and on the phone with paramedics.
When the baby’s head appeared, Hann cradled it with her hands.
“I knew I had to put my hands there to take the baby out, but I was so scared,” said Hann.
The paramedics arrived soon after by climbing over snowbanks and a fence, and delivered the baby.
“Thank God they showed up when they did. They were a blessing,” said Hann.
Julia Mary Elizabeth Hann — weighing six pounds four ounces — was taken the extra block to hospital by ambulance.