Baby Bayleigh Kait was born at 10:39 p.m. on Sunday night on the shoulder of Delaware’s Route 1 highway.
“There was crazy traffic, cars were whizzing by, but we had to pull over, the baby was coming,” says the newborn’s father Joe Alan.
Bayleigh Kait is the second child of Joe and his wife Melissa Alan. Their 3-year-old son, Grayson Michael, had been born early, so Melissa expected the same for her daughter. When her due date of July 3 came and their daughter had not yet arrived, the couple knew it would be any day.
When Melissa’s water broke on Sunday night, the couple hurried to get to a birthing center in Wilmington to deliver their child. When they were only 20 minutes away from the center, though, Melissa told Joe that they had to pull over and they would not make it there in time.
“I was trying to tell her to hang tight,” Joe says. “But when that baby that’s inside of you wants out, it is going to happen.”
Joe helped Melissa into the back of his new black Mazda-3 and realized the baby was almost halfway there.
“I was wishing for anyone in the entire world to come and help me,” Joe says.
He called 911, and the dispatcher talked him through the delivery process, including tying off the umbilical cord.
“They said to use a shoestring, but my wife and I were wearing flip flops,” Joe says. “I ended up using a bra strap instead.”
Shortly after, a police officer and ambulance arrived, bringing the couple and their new daughter to Christiana Hospital. Doctors determined that Bayleigh Kait, measuring 20 inches long and weighing 7 lbs 4 oz, and her mother are both healthy and being discharged today.
“I guess I can now say I’m available to deliver babies,” Joe says. “It was a really frightening, exciting experience with a really happy ending.”
Published at 12:26 PM EDT on Jul 8, 2014