Baby born in SUV after B.C. hospital redirects mom

B.C. woman gives birth in family's SUV after local hospital sends her to bigger regional hospital nearly 70 kilometres away.

A woman in British Columbia who gave birth in a coffee shop parking lot early Wednesday morning wants answers from local hospital officials who told her to go to a larger regional facility.

Jessica Obey of Princeton gave birth to her son in her family's SUV while the child's father got emergency instructions for delivering a baby over the phone.

An hour earlier, Obey was examined at Princeton General Hospital and then told to go to a regional hospital in Penticton, about 110 kilometres away along a mountainous highway.

The Princeton hospital hasn't done deliveries for the past three or four years.

Obey had been experiencing rapid contractions after her water broke.

"They figured I still had five or six hours before the baby was going to come, so they decided it would be safe if I was to drive over in a truck rather than an ambulance," she said.

Soon, Obey was giving birth to an eight-pound boy in the parking lot of a roadside coffee bar near Penticton, with help from her boyfriend Dion Lewis and her dad.

"I was a little worried because of possible complications – the baby getting too cold, his body temperature dropping, or the umbilical cord being wrapped around him – because none of us knew exactly what we were doing," she said.

Lewis got instructions over the phone after calling 911 for help.

"The head was popped out," he said. "I ran over to the other side of the truck and held onto the baby's head and wiped his mouth off and whatnot. And then once he popped out, I grabbed a shoelace, tied off his umbilical cord and waited for the ambulance to show up."

The couple said they plan to file a complaint with the Interior Health Authority.

Lorraine Ferguson, the community administrator in the South Okanagan with the health authority, said there will be a full investigation into the incident.