Parenthood
Mom pulls over and gives birth on roadside while her 5 children wait in van
When Heather hopped into the car with her five kids to do an errand, she never expected she'd be delivering her 6th child on the side of the road.
Kate Miano
05.25.22

Moms are always doing something phenomenal and surprising. Sometimes moms even surprise themselves with what they can handle.

For Kentucky one mom, who was driving down the road with her 5 kids, she had to think quickly and decide that since there was no delaying it, she would have to deliver her baby on the side of the road. Heather Skaats’ incredible story taught her how strong she was and how much of a crisis she can handle for her kids.

Her due date was 3 weeks away.

Unsplash - Anastasiia Chepinska
Source:
Unsplash - Anastasiia Chepinska

Heather thought she had way more time to prepare for her baby’s arrival. When she started feeling light contractions, she noted it, but thought that she would have time for a few things before the birth. So, before thinking about going to the hospital, Heather packed her 5 kids into their van to run an errand.

The mom was used to having long deliveries with her other kids, often going on for hours at a time. So, as she put it to Today:

“I thought I wouldn’t have a baby in my arms until eight or ten hours later.”

But as Heather was running her errand, her contractions got worse and more frequent.

It was becoming clear that the baby was not going to wait to satisfy anyone’s schedule. Heather had had a home water birth planned out, so she started driving fast to make it back home.

As she raced back home, her contractions worsened until she was forced to admit that she was not going to deliver the baby at home. It was happening now.

Heather didn’t have many choices in what she could do. So she pulled her vehicle over to the side of the road.

Unsplash - Holden Baxter
Source:
Unsplash - Holden Baxter

After making sure that her other kids were safe in the van, she got out and assumed a squat. With her husband on the phone, she felt her water break. After that, she estimates that her baby boy came out in about 20 seconds. She caught him in her hands.

Giving birth on the side of the road was a pretty unique experience, and Heather handled it with complete grace.

She had to do it all alone while also making sure that her kids were okay in the car. Fortunately, the whole experience was fast and her baby was also relaxed. She says:

“He started crying right away, and he just opened his eyes and looked at me and I said, ‘Yeah, buddy that was fun, huh?’…I wrapped him in a blanket and drove with him close to my chest. I think the kids were in shock. They were pretty quiet.”

Eventually, mom and her kids got home where things settled down a little bit.

Heather’s placenta was still attached to her, so she had to deliver that at home. Her midwife showed up to help with the process as well as welcome the new baby boy into the world.

Heather believes that she was able to be so fearless about delivering her baby on the side of the road because of her previous experience with home births. She thinks that it gave her a different level of trust and faith in her body and what it can do.

Isn’t Heather one tough mama? Be sure to check out her Facebook post below!

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By Kate Miano
hi@sbly.com
Kate Miano is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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