Elk Grove dad delivers baby in a parking lot
05/07/2013 12:00 AM
05/07/2013 8:12 AM
Every expectant father knows: Always keep the car fueled up.
But having just returned from a business trip to Japan and with his wife's baby not due for another three weeks, Fritz Rosales found himself with a gas tank on "E" late Friday.
By then, his wife, Josephine, was reclined in the passenger seat, trying to quell her labor pains.
Being short on fuel was the least of the obstacles the couple would face as they attempted to rush from their Elk Grove home to Sutter Memorial Hospital in east Sacramento.
"I hopped on Grant Line, and would you believe there was a train," said Rosales. "Would you believe it was 80 to 90 cars?"
With his wife in obvious pain, Fritz Rosales said he tried to remain calm.
But just when the end of the train was in sight, a train coming from the other direction appeared. More waiting; more counting cars.
"Stay calm," he told himself. This train was shorter, he said, 30 to 40 cars.
Rosales pulled into a service station, but it was quickly apparent this wasn't the time to top off the tank.
"She said, 'We gotta go.' "
Despite midnight approaching, Rosales found himself behind a slow driver. He sped around the car.
Finally, the couple and baby reached Highway 99 – but not for long.
It became increasingly apparent that this baby, the couple's fifth, wasn't going to wait, he said.
Rosales said he decided the Sam's Club parking lot off Power Inn Road would be the best place to stop. It would be empty, well lit, and close to the highway.
"As soon as I got off the freeway, I called 911," Fritz Rosales said.
The fire department was on the way, but would the crew make it in time?
"The baby was crowning," Fritz Rosales said. "I still had 911 on the line. I told them, 'I have to put the phone down.' "
Turns out, delivering a baby isn't so hard – sometimes.
"She pushed really hard, and the baby squirted out," he said.
For a few seconds, the couple said they were alarmed the baby wasn't crying. To their relief, Fritz Rosales, said it expelled some fluid and began to cry.
He said it wasn't until that moment that they discovered the infant was a boy. They would later name him Alexandre Miguel Rosales.
They wrapped him in a sweater from the back of the car, and moments later a fire engine arrived.
From the time he called 911 to having his newborn son in his arms, a mere 3 minutes had elapsed, he said.
He said that frantic period seemed to be in slow and fast motion at the same time.
"You want your child to live so you are doing everything you can," he said.
Fritz Rosales' previous experience in the delivery room for three of his other children's births likely helped him keep his calm.
"The baby is good," said Josephine Rosales. "Dad did a good job."
Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269. Follow him on Twitter @newsfletch.
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