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Baby delivered during rush hour traffic on H1 West

HONOLULU (KHON2) - Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 was anything but normal for Lori Kohara and Kyle Shimoda, who were expecting their second baby.

"I had contractions the night before so I couldn't sleep the night before," Kohara said.

She knew the baby was coming that day.

"In our birthing class they told us treat it like any other day," she said. 

And that's what they did, Kohara working from home throughout the day. 

Kohara said it was her last day of work before maternity leave. She thought she had another two weeks to prepare for the baby. 

"I finished my last meeting at 4 p.m., and I told Kyle [my husband], I'll hop in the shower and then we'll head to the hospital," she said. 

They grabbed their things and walked to the car. Kohara's dad driving while the couple sat in the back seat. 

"Maybe about three minutes after we left, my water breaks, and I'm like 'oh my goodness,' Kohara said. 

"The first thing that goes through my mind is there goes the seat," Kyle Shimoda said laughing. 

The family got on the freeway at Kahala, but didn't make it far. 

"[You're thinking] 'I hope the traffic's not to bad,' and it ended up being as expected on a Friday at 5 p.m," Shimoda said. 

The family hitting traffic near the Wilder exit. 

"We were coming to the McCully overpass and I told Kyle, 'this baby is coming now and we're not going to make it,'" Kohara said. 

Shimoda calls 911 and the dispatcher stays on the phone. Kohara's dad pulls over on the shoulder near the McCully overpass. Shimoda puts up a sun shade for privacy.  

"I'm in front seat and he's in wheel well behind me and the dispatcher was like 'I know it's hard, but try not to push,' and I said 'there's no choice, the baby's coming," Kohara said. 

The couple delivering a healthy baby girl just 30 minutes after Kohara's water broke. The ambulance arriving 10 minutes after labor. 

The family escorted by police to a hospital. 

"It was what I hoped for, it was really quick, pretty painless, just not the ideal location," Kohara said. 

Two of the EMT's said it was their first time hearing a mom giving birth in a car.

The same goes for the car insurance company who covered the cost of a new passenger seat.

Mom and dad named their baby Lief, after the Nissan Leaf she was born in.

The spelling Lief means dearly beloved and also has the word life in it. 
 


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