youtube.com/WKRN News 2
Source: youtube.com/WKRN News 2

Parents Recall the 'Scary' Moment of Giving Birth to Their Baby on the Side of the Road in Tennessee

Laura Beatham
Jun 18, 2021
06:01 A.M.
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Childbirth usually takes place in a hospital, but that was not the case for a Tennessee couple who had to pull over on a highway for the birth of their baby.


Parents Gayla and Ryan Thompson shared their incredible birth story with WKRN News 2, which involved giving birth to their second son on the side of I-440 in Nashville on their way to Vanderbilt Medical Center.

The story started the day before as Gayla experienced contractions but reasoned it was Braxton Hick's contractions and not the true labor contractions. So she decided not to visit the medical center.

Via a video call, Gayla and Ryan Thompson shared their birth story. | Photo: YouTube/WKRN News 2


The pains continued all day on Tuesday, June 15, and into the night. However, Gayla did not want to make the drive from the family's home in Mt. Juliet to the medical center and then be sent home.

The story took a turn on Wednesday as the expectant mom's contractions got stronger, and she knew the baby was coming. Ryan came from work and the couple boarded their Jeep Wrangler but Gayla explained to Fox News:

"Halfway to the hospital I couldn't scream anymore and I knew this was getting real."

Baby Carson was born on I-440 near the Nolensville exit. | Photo: YouTube/WKRN News 2


The couple made it to I-440 near the Nolensville exit when Gayla told her husband he needed to cross the median or call 911. With a 911 operator on the line, Ryan sprang into action and helped his wife deliver their child.

Gayla explained that when she could not scream anymore, it took two more contractions before her baby was crowning. Finally, Ryan told the 911 operator that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck.

Two other mothers had unconventional births this June after they could not reach a hospital in time.

Gayla Thompson pictured with her newborn shortly after the birth. | Photo: YouTube/WKRN News 2


The baby was blue, but with another big push from Gayla, the shoulder came out, and the cord loosened. Ryan pulled the baby out and immediately handed him to his wife for skin-to-skin contact.

Although having no training, Ryan thinks watching the birth of his first child most likely helped him gain instincts on what to do. He described the moment saying:

"It was scary but absolutely amazing at the same time."


The baby's name is Carson. The parents chose the ironic name before his birth. Gayla, who is a baby photographer, captured a few stunning photos of her newborn during birth.

Two other mothers had unconventional births this June after they could not reach a hospital in time. A Long Island couple, Alejandra Salazar and her husband Joshua Lagana, welcomed their baby en route to the hospital.

A newborn baby crying. | Photo: Shutterstock


On their way to Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center in Harbor City, the couple was on Pacific Coast Highway when their little one entered the world in the car as the hospital came into view.

Meanwhile, a mother-of-four welcomed her fifth child alone at home in Union County, North Carolina, with help from a 911 operator. Samantha Lockhart was able to meet Keri Michaels, the operator, the week after the birth of her son.