Sandy Driver and Desmond Johnson have a healthy full-term baby girl, whose birth Friday morning was enough to give them both a good scare.
No doctor, no nurses, no epidural and not even blankets or hot water. Just Driver, Johnson and his big red Lincoln going about 85 mph from Elizabethton to Johnson City in morning traffic.
The couple and daughter, Kiera, were resting at Franklin Woods Community Hospital Friday afternoon, but Johnson said he still hadn’t calmed down.
“I ain’t quit shaking,” he said. “It had my nerves pretty shot.”
Driver said she started having contractions, seven minutes apart, after she got up Friday. Her doctor had told her to wait until they were closer, but something gave Driver a sense of urgency.
Suddenly, the contractions started coming more quickly so she and Johnson set out for the hospital, already in a near panic — especially when he realized there was no gas in the car.
Johnson stopped for gas, but had left his wallet at home in their haste to leave. He put a handful of change — he thinks it was about $5 — on the counter and ran back out to pump the gas.
“I seen it hit $3.12,” and Driver was screaming that they had to go, so Johnson jumped in the car and took off.
He called 911 to alert Carter County about his dilemma and need to get to Johnson City quickly, then called again to Washington County 911 as he got onto Interstate 26, Driver’s water broke and the baby started coming out.
Johnson said the emergency dispatcher told him to pull over so she could give him delivery instructions, but the baby came so quickly there was no time to stop.
When Kiera made her appearance, Johnson was even more scared because she wasn’t making any noise. He finally pulled over on State of Franklin just before Peoples Street.
“The baby didn’t cry. That just freaked me out. I ripped my shirt off to put the baby in it,” he said.
Finally, Kiera made a whimper, which relieved her father somewhat. Within minutes, EMS arrived at the scene and took over, much to Johnson’s relief.
EMS transported Driver and Kiera to Franklin Woods while Johnson followed in his car.
Johnson and Driver said they appreciate all the help from the dispatcher and EMS and are happy to have a healthy baby.