3 hours after delivery in the car

Christmas Baby Born Early & In the Car!

Several months ago, the Autry family was discussing when their 3rd son, Justin Alexander Lynn Autry would be born. He was due on December 25, 2008, but Susan has had a history of delivering early. James William Autry (4lbs 6oz) was born in 2000, at six weeks early, after her water broke 10 days before, and Jonathan Oliver Autry (6lbs) was born in 2001, at two weeks early. They were all praying for sometime after Thanksgiving and Susan’s selection was Tuesday, December 2nd.
Well, throughout the summer and fall, Susan was in quite a bit of pain with pre-term labor contractions, so they kind of got use to her having to stop and sit down for a minute until the contraction was over. Over the past several weeks, she was making visits to her doctor two times a week and he said this delivery would be fast, so don’t finish the laundry or spend too much time at home, when things get started.
Baby Alec was slowing down a little bit in gaining weight, so they decided to perhaps induce labor on December 9th, as well as to continue watching Susan’s blood sugar levels. On Sunday, November 30th, she was awoken by very strong and different contractions, so they woke up the boys, dropped them off at a friend’s house and headed to the hospital. They arrived at around 3am, got checked in and after several hours the contractions stopped. The nurse sent them home and said they should come back, perhaps after her water breaks or when the contraction get stronger and closer together.
Throughout Sunday and Monday, Susan was still having contractions but they wouldn’t last very long, so they finished painting the nursery and getting things ready for the new addition to their family. After a very long day on Monday: James getting work done for the radio station and then painting the nursery, the boys getting their home work done for school & Susan getting in and out of the tub to ease the contractions, they finally all got to bed after midnight.
On Tuesday, December 2nd, Susan was awoken around 5:30am with several strong, yet very short contractions and so she got in the tub to wait until their friend, Angela, arrived at 7am to take her to the doctor’s office for an ultrasound appointment at 7:50am and a doctor’s appointment at 9am. The plan was that James would take the boys to school and come to the hospital, if anything was going on. At 6:30am the contractions started getting stronger, and yet her water had not broken, and she had to get ready to leave. At 7am the decision was made to switch drivers, and let Angel take the boys to school, while James drove Susan through morning traffic from Southeast Portland to West Portland, where the doctor and hospital were located.
They left the house at 7:10am and proceeded down SE Holgate to Foster to Powell and over the bridge to continue on Hwy 26 to Barnes Road. It is usually a 30 minute drive, but traffic was heavy and yet moving, so James starting praying. (No time for stopping at Starbucks to get coffee, as they had done on Sunday morning!) The contractions started getting stronger and by the time they got over the bridge and were going through the west hills, Susan started saying that the baby was coming, as she was breathing more heavily and having James count to focus her attention during the contractions. They got past the tunnel and near the zoo as things really started to get more intense. She wanted James to call 911, but he knew that it would take much longer for someone to get to them, than it would for them to get to the hospital just a few more miles up the road.
As they were traveling about a mile a minute, Susan said the baby is coming now and started to pull off her sweats to get to him. James just kept on driving. She couldn’t help but push and within several minutes, Alec was born at 7:51am. She pulled him up to her chest and noticed that he was still in the sack, which she broke and then started to check his mouth and nose. James patted him on the back to get him to cry a little bit and then got a blanket from the back seat. Alec looked great and so James just kept on driving. They took the next Exit off the Highway and drove into the Emergency Entrance, wherein James rushed in to let them know that Susan had just given birth in the car and that they needed some help!
Several minutes later, the hospital had a number of people working on what to do next, in order to cut the cord, get the baby into some warm blankets, move Susan (and Baby Alec) out of the front of the car and to ask James if he was OK! He was, so he parked the car, rolled up the towels that they had placed in the seat and then joined Susan and Alec in Labor & Delivery. He weighed in at 5lbs, 8oz and is 19.5 inches long, having been born 3 weeks early. Immediately James called his Mom in South Georgia (who he had called at 7:36am to pray and let her know that they were on their way to the hospital) to tell her the rest of the story. Then he started making more calls and updating his Facebook page with pictures and details, so his family & friends could see that Susan and Alec were OK! Life comes at you fast and sometimes you just have to go with the flow and let the peace of God guide your heart!

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GandGSand says ... on Saturday, Jan 24 at 8:25 AM

Way to stay calm Dad. Great job Mom! You guys make a great team. And a red head too! God bless

Nicole says ... on Monday, Dec 22 at 10:50 AM

wow what an amazing story and beautiful picture, you said it with the last line...God bless you and your family.

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