Pregnant woman gives birth inside the car en route to the hospital

Share this article with other mums

Right after she delivered the baby, Priscilla cleared the baby's mouth and cleaned her eyes—this despite not having any medical training

After they experienced a false alarm, this couple decided that when the real thing happens, they would be ready. So when finally Priscilla Gardner’s water broke, Joe ushered her wife into the car and drove them to the hospital.

The Gardners had just recently moved to the city of Slidell in Louisiana, but they wanted to stay with their doctor in Touro Infirmary Hospital in New Orleans, and figured that they had enough time to drive there for the baby’s delivery.

Halfway through their journey, their daughter’s head emerged from Priscilla. She kept it to herself and didn’t tell her husband because she didn’t want him to freak out.

“We were headed down the interstate, and she was going through her contractions,” Joe recalled. “What I didn’t know was that the baby’s head was completely out. She was holding the baby’s head with her hand, and sitting there waiting for us to get to the hospital.”

But then it came to a point when Priscilla’s body could not hold in the baby anymore.

“I just hear this whooshing, like all this water, and she reaches down with both of her hands and she grabs the baby out, and she pulls it onto her chest.”

They still had about ten minutes of driving ahead of them, and all that time Joe tried to kept her cool.

“I’m driving, and I couldn’t really look at her because I knew I would just go into shock,” Joe said. “So, I kept asking, ‘Is she breathing? Is the baby breathing?”

As though to confirm that she was alive, their newborn daughter let out a wail.

Right after she delivered the baby, Priscilla cleared the baby’s mouth and cleaned her eyes—this despite not having any medical training.

“Priscilla was so calm during this whole time,” Joe said. “It was amazing how fast her mind was working given the situation.”

Baby Grace was born 5 pounds, 1 ounce, 16 1/2 inches.

Unassisted birth

Unassisted birth may sound intimidating, but so long as you remember these key information, it should at least make the process somewhat easier for you.

  • Don’t push too hard unless there is an uncontrollable urge.
  • Your uterus is capable of pushing the baby out gently and naturally. Pushing too hard is can do more harm than good.
  • And when the head emerges, check for the cord around the neck and slip it off the shoulder or the top of the head.
  • Do not cut the cord until it stops pulsating and your baby is breathing. It will go limp and look whitish in appearance.
  • If your baby does not start breathing spontaneously, then try rubbing the soles of the feet.

If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below.

Sign up for the

Your weekly Pregnancy guide

Receive weekly personalized updates on your pregnancy! More details on the Plus One here

Pregnancy Birth stories Becoming a Mum