In deciding where to give birth, Florida's I-95 highway isn't high on the list. But no matter how much you plan, some things are out of your hands. Anton Antonov can attest to that.
When his wife, Oxsana, went into labor on the way to the hospital, he was forced to make a pit-stop and deliver their baby himself. Driving southbound on Florida's major highway, Anton swerved to the side of the road when it was clear their child wasn't going to wait any longer.
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"We received a call for a person having a child in a car on I-95 and due to high volume of traffic and how fast cars go on that highway, we sent fire truck and a rescue truck," Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Captain Eric Baum tells Yahoo! Shine. "We found the mother in front seat, and she'd just given birth a minute before we got there."
Next to her was Anton, holding 8 pound 6 ounce Margarita, swaddled in his own shirt. "He literally took shirt off his back," says Baum. "Although he says he has no medical training his instincts were right, because the key thing is to keep the baby warm."
Another key to Margarita's healthy delivery was Anton's quick-thinking. "He called 9/11 before not after the baby was born, which is something we encourage."
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Because of that, the rescue crew arrived without a minute to spare. Traffic and darkness aside, the birth was particularly scary when Margarita came into the world looking blue, with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. When Baum's rescue crew got the scene they kept the cord attached a little longer for a "mini-transfusion" of blood. By the time mom and baby were separated and carted off to Memorial Regional Hospital, both were in good condition.
Meanwhile, dad Anton wasn't done yet. He wanted to get his car off the highway, so he drove shirtless to the hospital. Later, the relieved family posed for a picture in their hospital room, Anton using a towel to cover his chest.
"It's a first-time experience," the proud father told the Miami Herald.
Anton joins an elite dad delivery club, which includes John Tester, another Florida local who pulled off the road to deliver his wife's baby in a gas station this past May. But "birthday" calls, as Baum calls them, particularly ones made from the side of a highway, are extremely rare, even in a city like Miami where anything can and will happen (zombie attacks, anyone?). Says Baum, "It's good to finish your shift at 4 in the morning with a call that brought a life into this world."
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