With their tiny new addition in tow, a Cranberry couple is heading home today after a labor and delivery that was anything but typical.
On Saturday, Matt Richards helped his wife, Concetta, give birth to little Isabella on the side of Interstate 279 near the Camp Horne Road exit.
The couple had been on the way to West Penn Hospital in Bloomfield, when Concetta, who was in the throes of labor pains, told her husband she wasn’t going to make it the rest of the way. He thought she was just being dramatic.
As Richards pulled to the side of the road, Concetta’s water broke. Even after opening the passenger door to their truck and seeing his wife in labor, Richards said he still couldn’t quite comprehend what was happening.
“I said, no, no, no, I don’t know how to deliver a baby,” he said.
Then the adrenaline kicked in. Guided by an emergency dispatcher, Richards helped deliver Isabella. Once the baby was born, Richards said he used a shoelace to tie off the umbilical cord before wrapping Isabella in long-sleeved T-shirt he had in the car.
“In one push her head came out,” he said. “After the second push, Isabella was there.”
The birth took less than half an hour. Richards estimates they left Cranberry to drive to the hospital at 9:10 p.m. By 9:37 p.m., they were holding their healthy baby girl in their arms.
Moments later, an ambulance arrived to take the family the rest of the way to the hospital. On Monday, Richards said both mom and baby were doing well.
“There’s a million things that could have gone wrong,” he said. “Luckily for us it was a normal birth, if you will.”
Weighing in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces, Isabella joins big sister Talia, who is 16 months.