There are a lot of things nobody tells you about giving birth, and one of those things is that it could happen in your car, on the side of the highway, on your way to the hospital.
This was the case for Whitby, Ont. couple Erika and Troy Campbell when, just a few weeks ago, they welcomed their new daughter, Nova, on the shoulder of Ontario's 407 toll highway.
According to the couple's Youtube vlog, the events leading up to the pregnancy were as expected: Erika's water broke and she began feeling light contraction pains shortly afterwards. "It's just a little one," Erika reassures her husband in one of the vlog videos, referring to a contraction.
Troy didn't seem so convinced. "We should go [to]," he repeatedly says to his wife throughout the six-and-a-half-minute video.
Erika agrees and opts for a quick shower before they leave. Troy takes the camera (and the viewers) with him downstairs where, in the middle of his hallway, he has a moment of almost too-good-to-be-true foreshadowing: "This baby gonna be born in the truck, watch."
Troy told Global News that only about 30 minutes elapsed from his wife's first signs of labour to the couple getting in the truck. And it was when Erika's contractions intensified just a few minutes into the trip that she (and soon Troy) realized they weren't going to make the 20-minute drive to the hospital.
"I was trying to hold in from not pushing and then, yeah, that's when I was like 'we're not gonna make it,'" Erika explains.
Erika and Troy called their midwife, who advised them to pull over and call 911. "I'm having a baby on the 407," Erika tells the operator in a second vlog video as Troy makes his way to the passenger seat to help his labouring wife. About a minute later, baby Nova Marie Campbell is born.
In the video, Erika's midwife can be heard on speakerphone asking if the baby is crying. "No, not yet," Erika responds. About ten tense seconds later, the 911 operator asks again if the baby is crying, and almost like clockwork, baby Nova lets out a strong and reassuring wail (and we all breathe a deep sigh of relief).
"It seemed like forever," Erika says of the 20-second timespan in which she waited for Nova to cry. "By far the scariest moment ever."
Thankfully mom, baby Nova, and the rest of the family are doing well a few weeks after the shocking delivery. Perhaps even better after receiving a year's worth of free 407 travel and a car seat gift certificate for Nova and her siblings!
We're celebrating the amazing birth of baby Nova Campbell who came into the world on the side of Highway 407 ETR by giving her parents a year of free travel & a gift certificate to offset the cost of car seats for her and her siblings!Congrats to this beautiful #family! pic.twitter.com/ismf5koaeO — 407 ETR (@407ETR) May 21, 2021
Baby Nova obviously isn't the first baby born on the side of the highway. But it's not everyday that the couple films the whole thing. And yet, Troy almost didn't record it. "It was just luck," he tells Global News. "I literally never put the camera on the dash. It just happened to be that I popped it up there and it was just rolling. It's something I never do but for whatever reason I did it."
Well, we're happy he did, because we definitely ugly cried tears of joy from our WFH offices when sweet baby Nova took her first breaths. Welcome to the world, kid!