What started as a normal family outing ended in bonding moments for a Southern California couple when their newborn daughter decided she wanted to meet them 11 days before she was due.
Anuradha Suratkal, 38, never expected her water to break in her family's SUV with her husband and two children inside while traveling northbound on the 405 Freeway toward Los Angeles Sunday.
"It looks like the baby is coming out," Suratkal's husband, Nagaraj Badavide, told a 911 operator, whom he called after pulling over onto the left shoulder of the busy freeway.
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Badavide was driving northbound on the 405 Freeway when his wife started having contractions. Out of precaution, the pair decided to turn the SUV around and drive to where they planned to give birth at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Irvine.
With their 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son in the SUV, Suratkal went into labor. Screaming out of pain, she tried to slow the birth of her daughter.
"The contractions got worse so we called our insurance company, and of course my mom, the contractions were getting even more worse so we had to call 911," said Varsha Badavide, the baby's sister.
Taking directions from the 911 operator, Badavide told his wife, "Don't push it, don't push it."
"She was in the back seat next to the car pool lane with her seat toward the 405 Freeway as cars are whizzing by," said Capt. Steve Concialdi, of the Orange County Fire Authority.
Suratkal is heard in the 911 tape screaming, "the baby's out." The pair's daughter took over the call so that dad could assist mom in the delivery. Moments later, the 12-year-old tells the operator "just his head," is out.
"Usually you know from my two babies, it usually takes a longer time, and that's what I was always thinking, but this like in 15, 20 minutes the baby was out," Bavide said.
Paramedics arrived after some confusion of where the family had pulled over. Emergency crews finished the delivery and a baby girl was delivered at about 4:30 p.m. Badavide clamped and cut his new daughter's umbilical cord, before the mom and baby were taken to Los Alamitos Medical Center for additional care.
The newborn weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21.5 inches long, Concialdi said.
Since the baby wasn't due until Aug. 20, "they thought they had a little more time" to come up with a name, Concialdi added. "They're trying to come up with something just right."
A SigAlert was issued for about 30 minutes during the delivery while the California Highway Patrol shut down the carpool lane.
"I think this is one thing we're not going to forget easily," Badavide said. "We're never going to forget this."
The baby is in good condition and firefighters were scheduled to visit her and the mother at the hospital Monday afternoon.
"A heartfelt thank you to all the firefighters and the paramedics who saved mine and my daughter's life," Suratkal said. "It's a very emotional moment."