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Marin Mom Gives Birth On Freeway During Dash To Hospital

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Harlow Campbell was born in the family Toyota in Marin Friday.(Campbell Family)

Harlow Campbell was born in the family Toyota in Marin Friday.(Campbell Family)

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CORTE MADERA (CBS 5) – A North Bay baby was literally born in the fast lane early Friday morning as his Corte Madera parents raced to the hospital just minutes after contractions kicked in.

“I’m still kind of in shock. I feel like I’m talking about someone else who had a baby in the front seat of their car,” said Emily Campbell, who gave birth to her son Harlow Frankie Campbell in the Family Toyota early Friday morning.

She started feeling contractions around 12:20 a.m., and said she woke her husband up a few minutes later to tell him her water had broken.

“It was primal. The mother instinct just takes over,” said Campbell. “I got outside to the car and started screaming and I said, “he’s coming out. His head’s down.’

Her husband Wayne was determined to make the six minute drive to the hospital before the baby arrived. He figured he had time after their daughter Burke took 23 hours to arrive. Despite never stopping on the drive to Marin General, their car soon turned into a maternity ward on wheels.

“Emily’s saying, ‘he’s coming. I can feel his head,’ and I think she’s talking about the head in the birth canal. No, by the time we get to the freeway, his head’s out,” said Wayne Campbell.

The couple said his body and legs came out as they were exiting 101 around 1:01 a.m. They heard Harlow cry for the first time as they drove by the Bon Air Shopping Center.

“He fell into my pajama pants. (I) grabbed him up and he wasn’t breathing, which really freaked me, out so I scooped his mouth out, rubbed him off, and just stared tapping his back until he started crying,” Emily recalled. “I will never look at riding shotgun in my car the same ever again.”

Within another minute or so, they arrived at Marin General, where they were told to park in the ambulance bay.

“I guess I was the field general, she said, calm, completely the field general – that went away, and I just stood there,” said Wayne, who had been on the phone with 911 notifying the hospital of their situation.

The baby, who was about four weeks early, has been in the hospital since the birth with some bruising to his head.

“I got a little worried, but then realized, ‘hey that’s what happens when you’re mom tries to keep you in,’” said Wayne.

The baby and mom are doing well. Harlow is expected to take a low-speed ride home on Wednesday.

 

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