As signals were strong Friday morning that it was time for Judd Jaworowski and his fiancee, Jessica Brooks, to get to the hospital for the birth of their daughter, the couple could have had no inkling that by afternoon they would be in a hospital room full of news reporters and photographers.
That’s what happens when your baby — who turned out to be a girl — insists on arriving while you’re still on the Southern State Parkway on your way to Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park.
As Jaworowski put it at a “meet the press” session, they were en route when Brooks, 34, said, “You gotta pull over, you gotta pull over.” She was “not screaming, but just speaking very loudly,” he said.
Thinking that perhaps Brooks was just finding the ride to be “a little bumpy,” he soon found otherwise, after pulling their minivan over on the westbound parkway near the Meadowbrook Road exit about 6:54 a.m. and walking around to the passenger side, he said.
“I just took a deep breath and went ‘oh,’ ” he said, on seeing the baby’s head. “I didn’t think the baby was going to be born right there.”
It’s at times like this that adrenaline just kicks in, and that’s what Jaworowski, 38, a security technician, said happened with him, as he was giving his daughter, to be named Sage Elise, the needed assist in completing her arrival.
“You just kind of naturally just do what feels right, and that felt right,” he said.
Emergency personnel were summoned, with Nassau County police medics Brandon Leonard, Joseph Rice and Scott DiPino also giving a big hand. The three were present in Brooks’ hospital room to meet the media, with DiPino saying this was his 41st assist with babies.
The team arrived less than 10 minutes after the couple’s call, Brooks said from her bed, with Jaworowski at her side. They “made us feel really comfortable and secure that everything was going to be OK.”
DiPino, Nassau County Police medic coordinator, said all went smoothly with the birth, as the North Bellmore couple remained calm and the dad followed instructions from “a trained police medic” while they rushed to the scene.
The team took over upon arrival, checking for vital signs, assisting in delivery of the placenta and putting the mom on intravenous fluids.
“It’s always great to have a happy, healthy story with a great outcome,” DiPino said.
Brooks, an administrative assistant, said that her daughter, on her arrival, “was crying, so I was happy to see that the baby seemed OK.” Sage was just a little overdue, having been expected on Monday. And, as is par for the course for such nontraditional births, she was being kept in the neonatal unit for observation, a hospital spokeswoman said.
“We were all stressed that she was coming so late, but when she wanted to come, she came,” Brooks said.
As for mom and dad, they said that section of parkway will never be the same to them.
“Every day we will be reminded how special today, this morning, was,” said Jaworowski.
Brooks was all giggles waiting for her baby to be returned to her, and was eager to bring her home to brother, Chase, 9, and sister Gabriela, 5, when they’re released from the hospital.She only needed one word to describe Sage Elise, who weighed 5.1 pounds and measured at 18 3⁄4 inches: “Perfect.”