Seventh-day Adventist nurse delivered her own baby as her husband frantically sped their car toward the hospital in the U.S. state of North Carolina.
Norine Reese had planned to give birth at home as she had with her other three boys. But her midwife service was unable to send someone over when she went into labor in the early hours of Tuesday, Nov. 10.
So she and her husband, Nathanael, jumped into the car and raced down the highway toward the hospital in Asheville, located 20 miles (32 kilometers) away.
Nathanael and Norine Reese with their newborn son, Asher. (Photo courtesy of Norine Reese)
They didn’t make it far before Norine gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
“I always wanted to deliver a baby. But I never thought it would be my own,” Norine told local ABC13 television.
Norine, a visiting emergency room nurse at the Silver Bluff Nursing Home, made international headlines with her remarkable story. Britain’s Daily Mailnewspaper published a report with six photos and the headline: “Nurse is forced to deliver her own baby in the car during dash to hospital after midwife service couldn’t send anyone out in time.”
Norine, a member of the Pisgah Academy Church, told the Adventist Review that God was with the family from the moment that she called a babysitter to stay with her three sons and embarked with her husband at 4 a.m. on the 25-minute drive to Mission Hospital in Asheville.
“He was right there with us the whole time,” she said. “I prayed as we got into our vehicle, ‘Lord, please help us make it to the hospital.’”
But the baby boy couldn’t wait as Nathanael barreled down the highway at 80 to 90 miles an hour (130 to 145 kilometers an hour).
“We were fortunate there were no vehicles or cops on the road because we could’ve gotten pulled over,” Norine said.
Norine gave birth as her husband kept driving.
“He turned the dome light on and he said, ‘Yep. … Don’t even look. … Oh,’” Norine told the television reporter. “And then I looked at him, and we got emotional.”
Nathanael also is a healthcare professional, working as an X-ray technician at the Haywood Regional Medical Center, and he and his wife knew the potential risks with the childbirth. But they remained calm. Nathanael said he made sure that the car windows were rolled up and the heat was turned on for the baby.
“He was naked and wet, and I was worried he was going to be cold,” he said.
The hospital later gave both the mother and the baby, Asher, a clean bill of health.
“The biggest role God played in delivering my own son is that we were both healthy,” Norine told the Adventist Review.