When Hawaii Police Officer Mario Ochoa’s wife, Ryan, went into labor, the couple thought they had some time to get to the hospital. Ryan labored for 30 hours with their first child, after all.
This baby, however, was working with a different schedule.
While en route to the North Hawaii Community Hospital on the Big Island, Ryan's contractions "were visibly more severe,” Ochoa told a reporter with West Hawaii Today. “I told her, if she could hold on, we were almost there. That’s when I called 911 and told them to get an ambulance rolling.”
Ten miles still from the hospital, Ochoa and Ryan decided it couldn't wait any longer. Ochoa pulled over to the side of Highway 190, put on some rubber gloves, and, a few minutes later, there was baby Marcella Kahealani, born in the passenger seat of his patrol car, weighing a little under nine pounds.
"It was pretty fast,” he said. “I had enough time to put my gloves on, and she said, 'I gotta push,' and there was the head.”
Ochoa cleaned Marcella’s face and covered Ryan and his new daughter with a blanket while they waited for the ambulance.
Ochoa -- who, we're not surprised to learn, was named officer of the month in March -- joins the ranks of other Hawaii officers who have delivered babies on the state’s roadsides. Last year, traffic was so bad on Oahu’s Interstate H-1, that Honolulu Police Officer Stephen Keogh delivered not one, but two highway babies in separate instances.
“In the academy, we don’t get OB-GYN training,” Keogh said. If traffic continues to worsen for the city, the department may have to rethink their obstetrics education policy.
According to West Hawaii Today, the Ochoas are all resting happily and healthily at their home.
No word, yet, on who had to clean the car.