Mom Gives Birth in Highway Tunnel During Rush Hour Traffic


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

birth stories, delivery, labor, labor & delivery


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Pinkmani Pinkmani

6 weeks before your due date? WOWZERS, THAT IS EARLY!!! Giving birth on your own when it is unexpected has got to be scary!

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I have to cross a bridge that can be really snarled up during rush hour and I'm a little worried about it. I hate that bridge at the best of times, it's one of those that just looks so flimsy and the river below always looks wild, so the idea of taking a long time to cross it while in labor or even delivering a baby makes me queasy. I've even considered having my husband drive to a different bridge which would take longer but be much less nerve racking for me.

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