Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Born on the Side of the Road

Creative Commons License photo credit: Earl-Wilkerson



Sometimes, pregnancy doesn’t always go as planned. This is especially true of labor and delivery. The fact is you often don’t know what to expect until it happens. In some cases, labor may come very fast, leaving you without enough time to get to the hospital.

Now, this doesn’t happen that often. If television and the movies are to be believed, about one in three babies are born in cabs on the way to the hospital. In real life, it’s actually very rare. As you may know, labor very often takes 8 hours or more, usually more for first-time moms. However, it does sometimes happen, as a couple in Pennsylvania recently learned.

Concetta Richards and her husband Matt were traveling in their pickup truck off Interstate 279 last week when Concetta’s labor progressed to the point where she believed she was ready to deliver any moment.

The couple pulled off the road, and Matt called the 911 emergency services dispatch. Allegheny County 911 assisted Matt with instructions on how to help deliver his baby, with help on the way. Mr. Richards wrapped the newborn infant in a T-shirt, and tied off the umbilical cord with a shoelace.

The couple believed they had time to get to the hospital, as Concetta’s previous pregnancy 16 years ago saw her in labor for more than six hours. They weren’t expecting this baby to come so much quicker, but baby Isabella had her own time frame in mind.

A medical helicopter arrived a few minutes later, which then escorted the Richards’ and their new bundle of joy to a nearby hospital. Baby Isabella weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces, and was 18.5 inches long. Both mother and baby were doing fine by Monday morning.

The lesson here, of course, is this: your baby is going to come when she wants to. If it’s not your first baby, you can be lulled into a false sense of security and think that you’ve got plenty of time. There’s nothing wrong with arriving at the hospital a little early and having to wait, of course.

So, what about you? How long did labor take for you? Was a second or subsequent labor faster than the first?