Molly Van Wagner-Peterson’s son wasn’t due until Thursday but the newborn had other intentions as he arrived into the world in his parent’s car in a parking lot on Monday.
“Looking back, I don’t know what I could have done differently. I’m sure God’s laughing at me,” Molly said six hours after giving birth in the front seat of her Nissan Altima.
She and her husband Gary were at home on Sunday night when Molly began feeling unwell. But she thought she could be coming down with flu.
It was not until Monday that Molly knew that she was about to become a mother for the second time.
The couple had pre-registered Lourdes Medical Center in downtown Pasco but the contractions were so fast that they were not sure if they could make it.
“Having a baby is all hurry up and wait. I’m a planner and tried to plan for everything, but this. Having surprises is not my thing,” said Molly, owner of a photography business and a former Herald photographer.
It was 5.30 am Monday morning and the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart.
“She wasn’t laboring hard at all. They were lasting only about 12 seconds. But they hurt. I’ll probably have bruised fingers from her gripping them so hard,” her husband said.
Gary thought he had still time to drop their 2 and a half year old son Isaac at the neighboring day care at 7.30 am.
By the time he came back, Molly could wait no longer. She sat on the front seat of the car and reclined the seat as far as possible.
“It was really, really uncomfortable. I don’t recommend childbirth in a car,” she said.
Gary sped through the traffic.
“He’s not normally a risky driver. I call him a poky driver when I have to follow him someplace,” Molly said.
“I put my flashers on, and those who didn’t pull over definitely got passed,” Gary added.
With one hand on the steering and his wife gripping his other arm, Gary had little time to call emergency.
“It was at the intersection of I-82 and (Interstate) 182 I got really scared because I could feel he was coming out. It was pretty dire at that point,” recalled Molly.
Near the Queensgate Drive exit at Richland, her water broke. Gary promptly abandoned plans to go to Petersen and took the Wellsian Way exit and headed for Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.
He drove right up to the emergency door and shouted,
“My wife’s about to pop out a baby right now,” and dashed back out with Brian Lloyd, a registered nurse.
“There wasn’t a lot of room to work but baby and mom did wonderful,” he said.
And emergency room doctor, who was just out for a coffee, also came to assist.
The baby boy was born at 8:56 am, a healthy 7 pounds, 12 ounces and 20 1/2 inches long.
“He came out swift and furious,” said his mother.
Post the speedy delivery Lloyd said,
“Both parents were calm and collected in spite of the situation. She was cute. She said she wanted a natural childbirth but this was going to the extreme.”
While mother and baby are doing well, the family’s new star is their car.
“If anyone offers to detail it, I won’t say no,” Gary said.
The newborn will surely want to safe keep his mobile place of birth.
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