‘We thought we had time’: Father delivers baby on side of Highway 404
Rachael D'Amore, CTV News Toronto
Published Monday, January 8, 2018 6:16PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 8, 2018 6:43PM EST
“Who would’ve thought…”
That’s the phrase an Ontario couple can’t seem to shake after their second daughter decided to enter the world this morning in quite an unusual place.
The baby girl was delivered by her father at the side of Highway 404 at Elgin Mills Road to the “complete shock” of both parents.
Joe and Nicole Biondo say they loaded themselves into their car at around 5:30 a.m. after Nicole started having intense contractions. Since it was their second child, Joe said that they both felt confident in their plan.
“We thought we had a lot of time,” Joe said. “We had her bags packed, we had everything. I got the car started and we started going and before we knew it, her contractions were way less spaced out than we thought they would be.”
While driving to Markham Stouffville Hospital, simultaneously maneuvering through an early morning snowstorm, the couple got stuck in traffic on Highway 404.
Joe said they realized quickly that they weren’t going to make it there in time and decided to call 9-1-1. The operator who answered immediately asked for the couple’s location and instructed them to pull over near Elgin Mills Road.
“She said, ‘Okay, help is on the way.’ So we were hoping that the baby would wait,” Joe said.
“But then she started asking me if I had a string or a shoelace and a towel and I thought, ‘Wait, what’s going on? I’m not delivering this baby, there’s no way!”
Joe didn’t have much of a say in the matter, it turned out.
“Before I knew it, there’s a baby in my hands,” he said.
Baby Martina Biondo was born at 7:49 a.m., about two hours after her parents got into their car.
Joe even unwrapped the umbilical cord from around the baby’s neck.
Paramedics arrived “minutes later,” Joe said, and were able to transition Nicole and baby Martina into the ambulance and transport them to the hospital.
“It was scary but it was exciting. There were so many emotions going through your mind at that time because you’re just not expected this,” Nicole said.
“She just decided, that’s it, I’m coming out.”
Now settled at the hospital with calmed nerves – Martina was born perfectly healthy – the couple can’t stop smiling at the newest addition to their family.
Neither can their daughter Amelia, who is a proud big sister, they say.
“I’m just really happy that she’s healthy,” Joe said with a grin. “I’m proud of my wife. Nicole is a champ, she’s a champ in my eyes. I’ve never seen anything like that. She went through the whole thing, she kept calm I’m just amazed it all worked out in a positive way.”
Nicole and Joe say they’ll eventually tell Martina about her unique introduction to the world.
“It’s definitely very special. I was the first person to hold Martina as she came out,” Joe said. “It’s definitely going to be a special memory. I’ll never forget it and I don’t think anybody will in our family.”
In the meantime, it seems they’ve got a few nicknames to consider.
“Someone was telling me that maybe we should name her Elgin Mills or ‘404’ because that’s where we stopped,” Joe says with a laugh.
“Who would’ve thought we’d be giving birth to my second daughter in the car on the side of the 404.”
With files from CTV News Toronto's Tracy Tong.