When her contractions started at 5:10 a.m. yesterday, lori Gabardine took them very casually; this was, after all, her third child. She brushed her teeth, changed her 2-year-old daughter's diapers, and started down the stairs.
By the time she sat down in the front passenger seat of her Mazda RX-T she says she could feel the baby's head. And five minutes later, with her husband standing in the middle of the driveway in a panic, rain pouring in through the car door, she gave birth to a-7-pound, 2-ounce baby boy.
Both Lori and her son, whom she wants to name "Michael Mazda" or "Michael Parker." were in good health and good spirits yesterday afternoon in the maternity ward of the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis.
"It could have been worse. He could have been born in the middle of rush hour on Rowe Boulevard," the new mother joked.
"Yaaaaai" her son added.
He never even cried except for one little yell like that when he came out," she said.
Gabardine says her husband, Michael was by far the most perturbed member of the family.
"Poor Michael, he was shaking, uncontrollably. He coundn't even remember our address when he was calling the paramedics," she said.
For the record, the Gabardines live on Georgia Avenue in the Cedarhurst neighborhood of Severn.
The 2-year-old daughter, Chelsea, napped through the birth, and her 4-year-old sister, Ashley, sat quietly watching the action from the back seat of the car. Ashley had a few questions about Lamaze breathing afterward.
"Ashley wasn't scared but she asked my husband, 'Daddy, why was Mommy going "wooof wooof wooof in the car?" her mother said, laughing.
Her obstetrician, Dr. Robert Bowen, taking a break after delivering a child whose mother went through 23 hours of labor, said Gabardine is "blessed with good genes."
He said he would expect her and the child to have fewer complications than patients born in the hospital because her labor was so easy.
"We describe anything under three hours as a precipitous labor. We get two or three like that per year at the medical center," Bowen said.
"It's just luck of the draw. Some women go through extremely long labors, others short ones - very few as short as Lori's though.
Gabardine said she only had three "very mild" contractions with only a six-minute and then a three-minute gap before the baby came.
"I know other women are going to hate me for this, but I only had five minutes of hard labor after that." she said.
"I was just taking my time. I wouldn't have gotten into the car if I didn't think I could make t to the hospital.
I figured there's nobody has a baby in 20 minutes. I guess they do.