Rebecca and Nicholas Anderson prayed that they wouldn’t need a cesarean section to deliver their baby girl.
Their prayer was answered in a highly unexpected way Saturday morning, when baby Elise was born on the side of northbound Interstate 5 in Lakewood.
Elise, her parents and 2-year-old big sister Ashlyn were all doing well at their Olympia home this week, dad said.
Their adventure started late Friday, when Rebecca started feeling contractions just before midnight. By 2:50 a.m. they had called their Tacoma clinic and decided to head in, leaving Ashlyn with her grandmother.
About 20 minutes into the drive, mom felt like pushing.
“I was like: ‘Don’t push, we’re not there yet!’ ” Nicholas said. “I was going a little faster at that point.”
The contractions were about three minutes apart then.
By the time they reached Gravelly Lake Drive Southwest, Rebecca Anderson told her husband it was time.
They pulled over, called 911, and the dispatcher told them a Washington State Patrol trooper was nearby.
In the meantime, the dispatcher put a nurse on the phone to talk dad through the delivery.
The nurse got more than she bargained for when she learned Elise was expected to be delivered by c-section, because she was breech – upside down.
“She said: ‘I can’t help you with that,’ ” Nicholas Anderson remembered.
The nurse did tell them which position mom should be in until help arrived.
Elise waited for the State Patrol, but not for the hospital.
“The trooper that responded attempted to keep her (the mom) calm, but the baby had another plan,” trooper Guy Gill said about the second recent I-5 birth for troopers. Another baby girl was born Feb. 19 near the state Route 512 interchange.
At 3:25 a.m. the Anderson family had a 4 pound, 15.8 ounce addition.
Dad followed the ambulance to St. Joseph Medical Center, where, without the c-section, the stay was much shorter than expected. They went home the next day.
“It’s funny, because my wife and I were kind of praying God would find us some way not to have a c-section,” Nicholas said. “Not exactly what we planned, but it was an answered prayer for sure. It worked out wonderfully. We’re very grateful to God for that.”
Elise dodged two c-sections, actually.
Her father rushed back from a business trip to Arizona during the 34th week of his wife’s pregnancy, when he learned doctors were considering an emergency c-section due to low amniotic fluid.
“We (were) having an ultrasound once a week, it seems like,” he said.
Now at home, the family has been able to celebrate Ashlyn’s second birthday, and welcome Elise into the world.
“(Elise's) been wonderful,” Nicholas said of his younger daughter. “There was all this stress, and now there’s no reason to worry at all.”
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268