'Either way we went we weren't going to make it.' Parents en route to hospital deliver baby on I-440

Posted at 10:39 PM, Jun 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 11:14:53-04

HERMITAGE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Gayla and Ryan Thompson's son made his grand entrance into the world on I-440.

The baby weighing 7 lbs. 3 oz. was born at 8:56 a.m. on June 16 in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

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

The couple dropped their older child off at daycare 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 Thompson. "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 Thompson.

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