One of Austin’s newest residents made a surprise entrance Thursday morning on Interstate 35, less than a mile from the hospital where she would have been delivered.
Julieta Martinez was born inside of a pickup near the exit for Airport Boulevard at 4:55 a.m.
“She didn’t want to wait,” said Luis Martinez, Julieta’s father.
Martinez said his wife, Jazmin, woke up around 2 a.m. at their home in Paige, near Bastrop, and felt that the baby could be coming. The couple hopped into their truck shortly after and headed off to St. David’s Medical Center in Austin.
Just before reaching their exit, Jazmin began screaming at Luis to stop the truck. Moments later, their daughter was born.
“I was freaking out, I dialed 911 and I was like, ‘I think we are having a baby in the truck,’” Luis Martinez said. “They kind of wanted to walk me through it, but when they answered, the baby was already out so I just had to catch (her).”
Martinez said he used headphone wires inside his pocket to tie off the child’s umbilical cord before Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services crews arrived and took her to the hospital.
“It was crazy. It was supercrazy,” he said. “I was like, ‘This is happening! This is really happening!’”
Martinez said that Julieta is the family’s fifth child, and Jazmin said it was her biggest, at 8 pounds and 1 ounce.
Katie Berra, a registered nurse at St. David’s Medical Center, said first-time moms typically have to wait longer in labor before they give birth.
“Your body takes a little time to figure out how to do it,” she said. “It can be challenging to figure out when it’s the right time, but you have more time. When it’s your third, fourth (or) fifth baby, things can move really fast.”
Berra said a mother’s body naturally knows a lot of what it needs to do during delivery, and the main concern is taking care of a child afterward.
“The important thing is to make sure (the) baby is OK after delivery, and dry (the) baby off,” she said. “As long as the baby is crying in that first minute or two, you’re in good shape.”
Both Jazmin and Julieta are healthy, and are expected to go home Saturday.
“I was scared, but it was an awesome experience,” Luis Martinez said.