Dad was in the driver's seat but Alani Evelyn Mars had decided on a faster route.
With mom feeling the baby on the way NOW and dad a bit lost on the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway (Route 135), Nassau County Police and an EMS team arrived just in time to deliver the 8-pound, 20-inch baby girl on the shoulder of the highway near exit 1 in Seaford early Thursday. The kid had her own GPS:
"It was (relatively) easy," said Chantelle LeGrand, 28, who delivered Alani, her third child, just after 3 a.m. Thursday. "I almost prefer delivering in a car or ambulance because it was so fast and without (too much) pain.
"But I was surprised," said smiled, holding the adorable sleeping infant at Plainview Hospital Thursday afternoon. "I mean, I just had a baby on the side of the road."
The ordeal began at the mom and dad's place in Jamaica, Queens, when Chantelle realized about midnight she was in labor. Dad Gregory Mars drove the couple's two other girls, ages 5 and 2, to grandma's in Bellerose. They hit the Southern State Parkway into Nassau County en route to Route 135 and Plainview Hospital, where Chantelle's doctor practices.
But dad made a wrong turn, heading south instead of north on the Seaford-Oyster Bay. He knew it right away but, by that time, Chantelle was shouting at him that the baby was on its way.
Gregory called 911. Cops and EMS crews were there in a matter of minutes, he said.
"The police were awesome," he said. "It was crazy and I was excited and scared at the same time."
They wheeled Chantelle to the waiting ambulance; She pushed and the little girl appeared, head first and healthy, an infant with a different kind GPS
The crews transported mom and infant to Plainview and all are doing fine.
The couple wishes they knew the officers and EMTs who helped out. There wasn't time; they had returned to duty, and they don't even know their names.
"He acted like a professional," Chantelle said of the police officer. "He was soothing, and kept me calm. He told me he was a dad himself."
"If I could find a way, I'd like to thank him," said Gregory, 34, a teacher's aid. "Thank you so much."