TAMPA — Jaden Juniel Rosales was born in a hurry.
So quickly that his mother, Grendalee Rosales of Riverview, couldn't make it to the hospital in time for his arrival early Tuesday. Jaden was born in the family car as his father, Jose Rosales, raced along the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.
Not due until Jan. 31, the baby caught his mother a little off guard. When the contractions began, she got into the family car with her aunt, her husband and their three other children.
Mrs. Rosales, 27, ended up giving birth in the car about 3:30 a.m. while her husband continued to drive, unsure whether it was better to pull over or keep going.
He stopped near the westbound 78th Street exit. The aunt called 911 on a cellphone, while Mr. Rosales flagged down a passing driver for help. In the 911 recording, the passerby, WTVT-Ch. 13 video editor Greg Tyler, who was on his way to work, told the emergency dispatcher the baby was squirming, but not crying. The dispatcher instructed the family to tie a shoelace tightly around the umbilical cord, but not cut it.
An ambulance soon arrived and took mother and child to Tampa General Hospital.
University of South Florida/TGH pediatrician Luis Maldonado, who is caring for Jaden, said he sees perhaps two babies a year born outside the hospital. "Thank goodness it's not that often," he said.
Babies born outside of a medical setting will sometimes have irregular blood flow if the umbilical cord is left uncut for too long, Maldonado said. Infection also can be a risk, given that the environment is far from sterile.
But, the doctor said, nothing appeared to be ailing Jaden.
"The baby is doing awesome," Maldonado said at a news conference with the family Tuesday afternoon. "One-hundred percent healthy."
Just as a precaution, the hospital will monitor mother and son for 48 hours.
Jaden was born 20 inches long and 7 pounds 12 ounces. He has three older siblings: Yadiel, 6; Joseph, 5; and Leeani, 2.
Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 226-3446 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @josh_solomon15.