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Do you ever worry that you'll give birth in an unusual place?
January 2, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Mom Gives Birth in Highway Tunnel During Rush Hour Traffic

Posted by Michele Zipp 
on December 27, 2012 at 4:09 PM

holland tunnelRush hour traffic in and around NYC is a bad place to be, but perhaps the worst place to be if you are in labor. Soukaina Elkarhat was six weeks away from her due date when she realized something was up and thought that it might be time -- go time. So she and her husband Abdel left their home in Lodi, New Jersey, to head over to Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, where they planned to have the baby.

Depending on traffic in the Holland Tunnel, the trip wouldn't take that long, but there was traffic and baby just didn't want to wait. Just as they got into the tunnel, the baby starting crowning. They made it through to the New York side and pulled over right by the Port Authority security booth for help. That's when things turned really scary for a minute.

Port Authority Bridge and Tunnel Agents George McCann and Jean Bernard were on duty that day. McCann has been with that job for 34 years and has seen a lot, but never the birth of a baby in the tunnel. McCann told CBS New York that dad Abdel came running out of the car asking for help. Mom Soukaina was in the passenger seat and they pushed the seat all the way back so they could help her deliver the baby whose head was already out.

"I took the baby, put the baby on top of the chest of the mom and checked on the response of the baby to make sure the baby was alive," McCann said. "He cringed so I knew everything was all right."

Way to go, McCann! But there was concern because the baby was blue and seemed to need more oxygen. McCann created a tent over the baby with a wool blanket, and they got them all to the hospital. Heroes!

The Elkarhat's named their 6 pound 9 ounce baby boy Nassim Mohammad. They praise the Port Authority workers for their help -- they truly were the light at the end of the tunnel. 

No word on how much this birth snarled traffic, or should I say tied up the tubes.

Just the other day a woman gave birth in a helicopter on the way to the hospital. I'm not sure which is more frightening. Though both births went well, so all that matters is that there are more healthy and happy babies in this world. Congrats!

Do you ever worry that you'll give birth in an unusual place?


Image via pena2/Flickr


  • ryryab
    by ryryab
    January 2, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    I haven't given it much thought, but now that you mention it, yes of course! I want to deliver in a hospital, with my dr there!

  • Vixcalamity
    January 2, 2013 at 10:08 AM
    No. I had my son at 34 weeks and ended up with an emergency csection. This one will be csection as well and won't go to 40 weeks. I literally have zero fear of this.
  • Ilaynasmommy
    January 2, 2013 at 10:08 AM
    I'm worried ill have to drive myself from work to the hospital lol
  • Aireeahnah
    January 2, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Not the birth part per say, but I do have this strange fear that my water will break in Walmart while I am grocery shopping or something. lol.

  • puertoricangeek
    January 2, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    I just have this felling that my water will break in an elevator. I have a complex with elevators when pregnant.

  • doulala
    by doulala
    January 2, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    I don't worry, no.     But being somewhere that is dangerous anyhow, like a tunnel or on the road is not a good idea.  

  • JadeTigr7
    January 2, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    I worry about not being in my home, because my labors come fast, but it's not too big of a worry.

  • ImNotKarl
    January 2, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    I have really extremely fast labors and live pretty far from my birth center, so I worry about being caught in traffic on the way to the center.

  • rjmac88
    by rjmac88
    January 2, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    not really. im having a homebirth anyway. my midwife has to come to me either way. im not worried about something going wrong so much as not having something that i want/need for the birth. if im at the mall and have the baby...i probably wont have the carseat to get him home...that kind of stuff

  • rjmac88
    by rjmac88
    January 2, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    there is an awesome video on youtube of a woman delivering her baby in a car in route to the birth center, on the phone with her midwife

    Quoting ImNotKarl:

    I have really extremely fast labors and live pretty far from my birth center, so I worry about being caught in traffic on the way to the center.


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