Parents en route to hospital deliver baby on Tennessee interstate

'Either way, we went we weren't going to make it'
Posted at 11:29 AM, Jun 28, 2021

HERMITAGE, Tenn. — A couple's son made his grand entrance into the world on a Tennessee interstate.

In bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-440, Gayla and Ryan Thompson's baby boy, Carson, was born at 7 pounds 3 ounces at 8:56 a.m. on June 16.

"The whole thing happened pretty quickly," said Ryan. "I didn't have time to think of anything."

The couple dropped their older child off at day care in Mt. Juliet before making the trek downtown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

"We thought from there, maybe 20 minutes with traffic to Vanderbilt," said Gayla. "We thought we had plenty of time considering the contractions."

But Gayla's contractions kicked into high gear just as traffic started to slow down.

"It wasn't six or seven minutes after I called 911 that he was fully delivered," said Ryan.

Pulled over on the side of the interstate, Ryan helped Gayla deliver Carson.

"The fact that he was pre-named Carson and we delivered him in the car, our son in the car... we literally could not have made this up," Gayla said.

Gayla, a newborn photographer, and Ryan, a UPS driver, delivered their baby boy in the front seat of their Jeep Wrangler.

"Literally two pushes later he was already out... This poor guy had to run to the other side and very quickly grab the baby, so he had a lot going on. That was part of the battle. We were right there on the shoulder of 440, cars passing by," Gayla said.

Paramedics and an ambulance got to the family within minutes of Carson's birth. Everyone was in good condition.

"I'm thankful they both came out as healthy as can be," Ryan said.

Even if there wasn't traffic, the parents believe their son would have been born in the car because things sped up so quickly.

"I think, either way, we went we weren't going to make it. It was either going to be a 440 baby, a 24 or 40 baby. Even if there wasn't a car on the road, his head would've popped out by the time we pulled into Vanderbilt," Gayla said.

This story was originally published by Hannah McDonald at WTVF.