HOUSTON - A family in League City got an express delivery of a new baby before they could make it to the hospital. Luckily, help wasn’t too far away.
Friday morning for the Holloway family got off to a usual start.
“Kind of went through the morning; our older two are going through online learning, so we got them all lined up and ready to go,” says father Joseph Holloway.
He and his wife were expecting their fifth child, so when Lauren Holloway started feeling slight contractions, they felt no need to panic.
“I had one about nine o'clock, and I said, ‘Okay, you know, maybe we should just--let's go,” she says.
But on the way to the hospital, the contractions and the situation changed.
“We got on I-45 and I had another one, and my water broke with that one,” she says she was yelling from the intense pain while her husband tried to calm her down.
“There was no calming down,” she adds.
The race was on to get five miles away to HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake Hospital.
“I remember him running a red light, waving people down to stop so he could go through the light,” says Lauren.
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Holloway pulled into the parking lot where Audrey Valdez, a nurse technician was doing COVID-19 screening for people coming into the hospital.
“We heard somebody yelling, me and my coworker, and I couldn’t imagine what was going on,” says Valdez.
“He [Joseph] jumps out, and you can hear screaming more as he opened the door, and he's like, ‘she's in labor!'”
Joseph continues the story, “I tell her I need a wheelchair. We're having a baby.”
He says he went around to open Lauren’s door as she refuses to move out of the truck.
Valdez says he should check to see if it’s too late to try to go inside.
“She was screaming so much. I said, you need to check to see if she's crowning,” says Valdez.
Joseph confirmed the baby was coming, “She said, I'm going to push, and she did.”
Valdez continues, “I reached for a blanket that was in his back seat, and as I pull the blanket out, you know, to open it up, boom, out comes the baby!”
The father was right there to catch the new bundle. Their family was already made up of three girls and one boy who were all born in hospital rooms, but for the fifth, the parents had waited to find out the sex of the baby.
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“The way life works, you don't really truly get to be surprised much anymore,” says Joseph.
“We were!” laughs Lauren.
The couple also got exactly what they had hoped for- a baby boy named Ty Joseph who was delivered at a healthy 6 lbs. 13 ounces. Less than 10 minutes after leaving home, he was safe in his mom’s arms.
“Everything else kind of went away, and I was just there with him,” says Lauren.
Valdez, who was there to help deliver three of her own grandkids, had stayed calm and even finished parking the Holloway’s truck before meeting them in labor and delivery.
“It makes me happy that I do what I do. I mean, things like this,” she says.
The happy parents now have a story they’re already sharing with family members, but they’re also leaving a lesson for other expectant moms.
“Just listen to your body, and you'll kind of know when it's time to go, or…” Lauren said laughing, “…go a little earlier than you think.”