Jackie Botti was driving to Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola Monday morning, her pregnant daughter alongside her, and both were getting worried.
Traffic was backed up. Jericho Turnpike was closed due to an accident, police and fire officials said, and Botti, 59, tried to merge onto Route 107. But "that was backed up, too," recalled her daughter Stacey Kaloudis, 31, of Oyster Bay, the mother of two sons, 8 and 4.
That's when her mother pulled into the district building for the Jericho Fire Department, with both concerned that "it would come really quick," Kaloudis said.
Botti, a registered nurse from Oyster Bay whose brother is a fireman there, began pounding on the door. Kaloudis said Botti was yelling: "My daughter's having a baby!"
Then, "A young fireman came out," saw the situation and "brought out the cavalry," Botti said.
With a police escort and sirens blaring, Kaloudis said, the two were taken to Winthrop in a Nassau County Police ambulance, where shortly afterward she gave birth to an 8 pound, 9 ounce girl, who has yet to be named.
The baby had been due June 1. But Monday morning, Kaloudis said she felt good enough to go to her administrative job at the Metropolitan Institute of Interior Design in Syosset. At around 10 a.m., "the back pain came on so strong and really fast," and she called her mom.
"Everything just happened so fast. I was just so happy to get there" she said, and that "I was able to deliver in the hospital and not in an ambulance or my mom's car."
As of late Monday afternoon, her new daughter "had her first bottle and seems happy," said Kaloudis from her hospital room.