Former Alberta woman gives birth in New York taxi; baby ‘did it his way’
When Chantal McKenna was pregnant, she would talk to her baby about the adventures he would have. Little did she know they would start on Day 1.
The former Edmontonian was at home in her New York City apartment at around 11 p.m. on July 12 when the contractions started. They were irregular at first and her midwife advised Chantal and her husband Mark McKenna to stay put for a few hours.
By 7:30 a.m. the next day, the contractions were a few minutes apart and a doula had arrived. They called an Uber and headed downstairs.
“The elevator doors open and there’s six people in the lift,” Chantal told Global News over Skype on Wednesday. “And Mark’s like, ‘She’s in labour!'”
“New York, right? They don’t get out. They’re like, ‘OK, come in’…. [I] had a massive contraction in the elevator, surrounded by all these people.”
By the time they made it outside, the Uber driver had left. Someone hailed a cab and they jumped in.
“We were on our way to the hospital and our contractions were getting stronger and stronger and I couldn’t sit down,” the 35-year-old said. “I didn’t know what was happening. This was my first baby.”
About 15 minutes later, in the back seat of that NYC taxi, baby Josef was born.
“I was like, ‘I can feel his head! His head is coming!’… The doula and [Mark] were like, ‘No, no you can’t.'”
“I pulled my pants down and his head was coming out.”
“[Chantal] reached down, grabbed hold of [the baby] and just pulled him up to her breast,” Mark said. “I remember touching his leg on the way up. I remember how he felt.”
“I’m holding [Josef], he’s breathing, he’s crying and I’m like, ‘Take a photo!'” Chantal said with a laugh. “And I just lost it. I lost it.”
Meanwhile the cab driver had pulled over and a cheering crowd had gathered.
After Mark tipped the driver generously, firefighters transported the family to the hospital, just a few blocks away.
As for baby Josef’s New York minute delivery: “He did it his way,” laughed the couple.
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