On Sept. 3, Elijah Meeker got the birthday gift of a lifetime: He got to deliver his son.
Wife Celeste Meeker woke up just after 4 a.m. on Elijah’s birthday. She knew it was time to head to the hospital.
Actually, the time to go to the hospital would have been a few hours earlier. The surprise appearance by baby Augustine Blue Meeker (the family calls him August) happened sooner — way sooner — than expected. Even though the couple had been through this before with their other three kids, they thought they had timed it right.
“Honestly, I thought I had time,” Celeste, 34, told Fox 40 News. “I didn’t want to be dramatic.”
But the way their baby came into the world was exactly that — dramatic.
Mom did her best to keep the baby from coming out too soon. “I sat up thinking, ‘Oh, I’ll just hold him in,’ and the pain was overwhelming, excruciating.”
Elijah floored it. His wife was so worried about his speeding she told him, between contractions, to slow down.
When his wife moved her seat back in their Honda Odyssey, Elijah told Fox 40 News, he thought, “OK, so we’re doing it there.” He pulled over and called 911. The dispatcher told him, "Support the head, look for the shoulders and catch," he told Yahoo News. The umbilical cord stayed intact until the couple arrived at the hospital.
Instead of in a hospital bed, the parents welcomed their son into the world along Highway 65 near Sacramento, Calif. Once the Roseville Fire Department arrived, Elijah, a professional photographer, captured the event on video. At first that annoyed his wife, but she told Fox 40 News that she decided to let him film as a birthday present.
“I don’t think you got anything for your birthday,” she said. “Besides a baby."
Elijah Meeker's video can be seen here.
The Meekers aren’t the only ones to welcome a child in an usual location. Lisa Clinard, wife of Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Josh Clinard of Twentynine Palms, Calif., gave birth to daughter Courtney Rose en route to the hospital … in a helicopter.
"Most of my friends miss their births because they're deployed," proud papa told Fox. "I can at least say my daughter was born 6,000 feet in the air."