By Cornelia de Bruin
Triplicate staff writer
Any woman who's ever been pregnant wonders when her labor will start and how it will be for her. Some may wonder where they'll be possibly at home, maybe even while driving.
For Crescent City resident Lauren Cox, it was the latter.
And so was her delivery. On U.S. Hwy 101 near Eureka, she delivered twins with the help of a police dispatcher and her husband, Andrew.
"It happened so quickly," said Lauren, who gave birth March 15. "Andy was so calm; he works in X-Ray, and he goes into surgery sometimes."
It had become apparent to the Coxes that they weren't going to make it to the hospital before at least one of the twins Lauren had carried for 36 weeks arrived.
"Her husband called 911, which goes to CHP (California Highway Patrol) and was transferred to city ambulance," Eureka Police dispatcher Jennifer Hanson said. "I had the cards we use."
Hanson grabbed her First Aid cards to help talk Andrew through the birth. She made sure that the baby's airway was clear and that brand-new baby Laura was breathing.
She was startled, however, when she realized that her medical cards didn't give any instructions about helping deliver twins.
"My stomach kind of sank, but I winged it," Hanson said. "The call never bothered me at all, we get so many that are sad."
When the ambulance crew she'd dispatched arrived at the scene, they debated about whether to move Lauren.
The second baby arrived about 20 minutes later.
"It was a half-hour event," Lauren said. "I had no Braxton Hicks contractions," which are the pre-labor onset contractions most women have during the last weeks of their pregnancies.
As birth became imminent, Lauren remembered a newspaper story she'd read about Stephanie Lende, a Crescent City woman whose son arrived during a roadside birth in the early hours of Valentine's day.
Until March 15, Lauren didn't think that could happen to her.
Lauren remembers hers every time she drives past the birthplace.
"We drive past that place pretty often," she mused.
Now the work of raising three little girls, Andreya, Laura and Albina, along with a 15-year-old son A.J.
She's listed as the attending physician on Albina's birth certificate, the baby born in "the back of an ambulance." Andrew is the attending physician on Laura's, and the place of birth is a Pontiac GrandAm.
"Andrew and both of our in-laws, Artie and Connie Cox, are helping with the babies and with some construction on our house," she said.
Her parents, Laurie and Robert Felix, are coming to visit from Connecticut in June, when Lauren's maternity leave ends.
The babies' grandmother is Lorna Cox.