A Navy chief petty officer and his wife welcomed their newborn son to the world – on the side of I-95 in Jacksonville, Florida.
The day before the baby was due, Amy Tetreault took her 3-year-old daughter to look for seashells at Fernandina Beach. She figured it was their last chance for some girl time before the baby came.
On the way back to St. Marys, Georgia – where the family lives – she started having contractions.
Her husband, Chief Petty Officer Paul Tetreault, was at home with their two boys. She called him and her midwife.
"I told her my contractions are every 5 minutes and they're about a minute long, do you think I should come in?" Amy said. "She said, 'Oh no. You sound alright. You don’t need to rush in.' I was like, 'Uh, OK. I'm kind of nervous.'"
She said she got home and got in the tub, but the contractions kept getting more intense.
She asked a friend to come watch her three children while she and her husband got ready for the trip to the UF Health Birth Center in Jacksonville.
They had to stop for gas because her tank was empty from the trip to the beach.
"Of course there's no gas pump open. He's like doing laps around and around, and I'm like 'Can you hurry it up?' And all of I sudden I felt a pop – my water just broke."
Paul quickly put $7 in the tank and they got back on the road. They made it to Jacksonville and were just a few miles from the hospital when Amy turned to her husband.
"I was like, 'Oh boy, I can feel his head,'" she said. "Luckily, it was right when we were getting on the off ramp so he pulled into the grass and put it in park."
Her husband ran around the car to his wife's side.
"She was like, 'Don’t pull the baby!' I was like, 'I'm not!'" he said. "Waited, then maybe three seconds later the whole baby comes out – just like the three other births, arms flopping."
Paul caught the baby and said he was thankful he started crying immediately – meaning he was breathing.
"(Paul) just handled the business, got up, handed him to me, hopped back around and kept driving," Amy said.
Amy says she doesn't remember snapping a selfie right after the birth. She found it on her phone a few days later.
"It was definitely a bonding experience. It was weird how through it all I was never nervous or scared," she said. "Compared to my last three births in the hospital, I never expected it to go as smooth as it did."
Baby Austin was 7 pounds and 13 1/2 ounces – a happy, healthy baby boy.
"It was nice the way – I mean a little crazy – but nice the way we had the baby. Because it was on her terms, the baby's own terms and we just did what had to be done," Paul said.
Paul Tetreault is stationed at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.
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