Mom gives birth in backseat over Labor Day weekend

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Labor Day will now have a different meaning for Danielle Sowers than it does for most.

She went into labor over the weekend, delivering a girl in the backseat of a car in a hospital parking lot.

Sowers was pregnant with her third child and said she heard the baby would come fast, but didn't realize it would be that fast.

She and her husband, Chuck Sowers, said they thought their baby girl Adele was going to be born on the way to the hospital while driving from their Orange Park home to St. Vincent's Medical Center on the Southside.

Luckily they made it to the hospital, but only to the parking lot, where Danielle Sowers had the baby.

"It was such a crazy experience, and for the first couple hours I was thinking we just did what we had to do," Danielle Sowers said. "Everyone was laughing as we would tell them the story, but it wasn't funny to me. I thought, 'Thats just what we had to get done.'"

She and Chuck Sowers said they joked about the irony of her laboring as a mommy on the holiday weekend.

"Certainly a labor of love and a neat way for her to come in the world," Danielle Sowers said.

The parents said the contractions started early Sunday morning. They didn't think Danielle Sowers would make it out of the bathtub. Fortunately, with the help of the doula, who quickly arrived, they made it to the hospital -- the parking lot to be exact.

"I get in the backseat and see her assuming the position," Chuck Sowers said. "She's holding onto the handle with all her might, pushing, and I'm telling her, 'Breathe, hoo, hoo, hoo,' and she had this deep voice I've never heard before. She told me, 'Shut up,' and after the contraction she said, 'I'm so sorry.'"

Their doula helped deliver the head, then Danielle Sowers said her doctor and crew came running out to finish the delivery from there.

"There was a whole team of people out there," she said. "There was a nurse holding up a sheet behind the car so passerbyers couldn't see."

Danielle Sowers said at the beginning she honestly didn't care who was helping her deliver Adele, but she remembers the sense of relief she felt when she saw her doctor at her feet. And Dr. Chandra Adams said it was a unique experience she will never forget.

"I hadn't had a chance yet to meet the husband before the delivery, so he didn't even know who I was, and here I am climbing into her backseat, telling her to push," Adams said. "So that was our kind of first, 'Hello, how are you?' And that was fun."

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