Rockwall mom gives birth in Denny’s parking lot

GARLAND – A Rockwall mother couldn’t make it to the hospital in time Good Friday afternoon so she gave birth to her beautiful little girl in the Denny’s parking lot, just off I-30 at Beltline Rd, instead.

Sandra Dubreuil said she was in no hurry to leave home for the hospital when her contractions began about five minutes apart mid-morning because she had been in labor for over 10 hours with her first two children. Her third was induced.

“In my mind I still had a while to go,” she explained.

But by the time her husband, Jared Dubreuil, arrived home from work shortly after Noon, her contractions were now just 3-5 minutes apart and so strong that she could barely talk while having one.

“My good friend, Lei, told me to pack some towels, just in case I don’t make it to the hospital. I did pack one, but this whole time I’m thinking I will totally make it. Guess I was wrong,” she laughed.

After they hurredly piled their three young children and dog into the van and rushed off to the hospital, 40 minutes away, Dubreil said as they were crossing the I-30 bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard, she finally started thinking they were not going to make it.

“We make it onto the bridge and I immediately feel like Jared needs to pull over,” she explained.

“I tell him to call 911 and take the first exit after the bridge. We have only been on the road for 15 min, I have started to panic and, yes, screaming has commenced.”

She had never given birth before without an epidural so she said she was “freaking out a bit.”

Since she was screaming, so were all the kids, while Jared was trying to speak with the 911 operator to get an ambulance.

“We make it over the bridge and Jared takes the first exit, Exit 59: Beltline & Broadway, in Garland. This exit is forever ingrained in my head.”

“He quickly pulls into the Denny’s parking lot and he’s still on the phone with 911 but they have put him on hold – apparently trying to communicate with the Garland ambulance. I’m feeling like the baby is coming and when Jared says they have him on hold I lose it a bit, so I call 911.”

“We’re both on the phone and they finally tell us they’re on their way. But our little girl decides she’s on her way, too! My next contraction is so strong that I immediately recline my seat back and tell Jared he needs to come around and help me because she’s coming.”

“Hearing the intensity in my voice, he comes over and I tell him she’s crowning. Thankfully, he’s grabbed the one towel I packed and one of his clean shirts that he packed.”

“One contraction and her head is out, one more and the rest of her is out. Camila Grace Dubreil is born within five minutes of us pulling over. Total labor plus delivery time:  3 hours 11 min. She was born at 12:50 pm.”

As soon as Camila was born, Sandra said calmness finally was restored to the van. She had no pain and was focused on making sure the baby was fine.

“My poor kids finally stopped screaming when I stopped screaming and they were actually saying to each other, ‘Look, Mom had the baby!”

Looking back, yes, I screamed from pain, but I think I screamed out of fear too. I mean, who gives birth in a car?”

“Thankfully, everything went really smoothly considering our circumstances. Talking with the pediatrician the next day, she actually said that if there were ever a baby to be born in a car, Camila would be the poster child for it. She was a perfect size with absolutely no complications.”

Camila was born 6 lbs. 1 oz. and 19 inches long.

“Jared was wonderful during the whole thing and really stepped up to the plate,” Sandra said proudly. “In talking with him, he said he just went into ‘assist’ mode in order to make sure baby and I would be okay.”

“And did the ambulance ever make it, you might be asking? Well, yes, they finally did. They literally pulled up 30 seconds after Camila was born.”
“They clamped her cord and took her and I to the hospital. We arrived and the rest is kind of history,” the happy mother said.
“So there you have it. Camila’s birth was quite an event. I don’t think I can ever look at that exit, let alone that parking lot, quite the same. But for the miracle that happened there, I am forever grateful.”

Camila, Sandra, Jared and the rest of the family are all home now, quietly enjoying their new baby girl.

By J.J. Smith, Publisher

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