Somewhere on the 407 near Brock Road in Pickering, Ont., Troy Campbell’s vlogger persona fell by the wayside and the severity of the situation started to kick in.
It was Monday, May 10 and his wife, Erika Campbell, was in the seat next to him. She was in labour, and they were just over 10 minutes away from the hospital.
“You gotta push? What do you mean you gotta push?” he said to her, his voice rising.
The Whitby couple’s third child, Nova Marie, was not going to wait to make her entrance into the world.
“At one point I shook my head, and that’s when I realized this baby is coming in the car,” Erika told CBC News on Wednesday.
“To deliver on the side of the highway, it’s very, very scary.”
This week, the couple posted a dashcam video of their experience on YouTube and TikTok, where it has since been viewed thousands of times.
Erika told CBC News that her water had broken that afternoon, but she wasn’t feeling much pain. Though both of her previous children had been delivered fairly quickly, and she had been told this one likely would as well, she said she wasn’t expecting things to “speed up as fast as [they] did.”
The video starts calmly enough, with both parents in their vehicle, joking about middle names. Things quickly escalate, however, as Erika’s contractions start to come faster.
“I’ve gotta push,” she exclaims at one point, clutching the edge of the truck’s sunroof.
“No no, you can’t push, babe,” Troy responds.
“I’m trying to hold it in,” she says, doing her best to make it to the hospital. Even through the contractions, Erika manages to direct her husband to call their midwife and navigate her office’s automated phone service.
Not long after, their midwife tells Troy to pull over and call 911. “I’m having a baby on the 407,” Erika cries out to the dispatcher once the call connects.
Amid the chaos of simultaneous phone calls, Troy jumps out of the truck and opens the passenger side door.
“I can see the baby’s head. The baby’s head is out,” he tells the dispatcher. “It’s almost out. Tell me what to do, please.”
In a matter of moments, the baby is born, but for a tense 20 seconds after, the newborn makes no sound. The relief is clearly palpable for both parents in the video once little Nova Marie starts to cry for the first time.
“How is mom doing?” the dispatcher asks.
“I’m fine, I’m fine,” Erika says, still managing to carry on a conversation despite the feat she just managed.
“When she was first placed on my chest, the first thought was, ‘She needs to cry,'” Erika told CBC News.
“When she cried was when I felt finally that relief of, ‘Oh my god, this baby is here … this is amazing.'”
An ambulance arrived not long after and the family was taken to hospital, where both mom and baby were checked out, and were doing fine.
Near the end of the video of the experience, and while holding his new daughter, Troy tells the camera that he’s “slowly coming out of shock a little bit, because I just delivered the baby on the side of a highway.”
“Well, I delivered the baby,” Erika corrects him. “He caught it.”
“OK, you did all the work,” he concedes.