Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A baby girl was born on the left shoulder of the San Diego (405) Freeway in Seal Beach as an Orange County Fire Authority dispatcher talked to the anxious family, a fire official said Monday.

The family of four from Irvine was on a Sunday afternoon trip to Los Angeles when Anuradha Suratkal’s water broke and they headed south on the San Diego Freeway in hopes of making it to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Irvine, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi.

Her husband, Nagaraj Badavide, called 911 and pulled onto the left shoulder of of the freeway just north of the Garden Grove (22) Freeway interchange, Concialdi said.

Dispatcher Grace Romero calmly worked to establish the family’s location for firefighters and told Badavide and his 12-year-old daughter, Varsha Badavide, how to help deliver the baby in the back seat of the green Toyota Highlander SUV. The couple’s 9-year-old son, Vibhav Badavide, was also in the car.

“Paramedics arrived when the baby’s head was out,” Concialdi said. They finished the delivery at about 4:30 p.m Sunday without complication and allowed the father to clamp and cut the umbilical cord. The California Highway Patrol shut down the carpool lane for the safety of firefighters.

The girl weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long, Concialdi said.

Mother and baby were transported to Los Alamitos Medical Center for follow-up hospitalization, Concialdi said.

As for dispatcher Romero, “She did an outstanding job,” he said. “She stayed calm in a stressful situation.”

—City News Service

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