Baby Julie Ann Manning couldn't wait to come into the world.
Even if it meant doing so just steps from the front door of the hospital.
Julie's mom, Alma Martinez, delivered the 7-pound, 9-ounce bundle of joy about 9 a.m. Thursday in the front seat of the family truck, just seconds after Julie's dad ran into the emergency room at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville to get the attention of doctors.
Martinez was talking to a 911 dispatcher on her cellphone when she was about to deliver her baby in the ER parking lot.
"When the baby's head came out, I said, 'The baby's head is out! What do I do now?' I'm sure he didn't know, either. Then the rest of the baby came out," Martinez said. "A few seconds later people from the hospital came. My boyfriend came out with a wheelchair. I remember seeing him in shock when he saw the baby in the front seat with me."
Martinez, a 29-year-old day care center worker, and her baby are both safe and sound. They went home from the hospital Friday.
But it was still quite a journey.
The 20-minute ride Martinez and boyfriend Jason Manning made to Condell from their Park City home seemed a lot longer than that, she says.
Martinez woke up Thursday morning with contractions, and doctors had previously advised her to come to the hospital when the contractions were consistently five minutes apart for an hour. So she decided it was time.
"I was getting her bag ready," Manning said. "She started screaming from the bathroom and saying, 'Oh my God, the baby's coming! The baby's coming right now!'"
They thought about calling an ambulance, but the delivery seemed imminent, so they hopped in the truck and rushed to the hospital.
Until they hit construction traffic near Route 137 and Milwaukee Avenue.
"I could feel the head kept trying to come out. I kept trying to breathe," Martinez said. "I almost gave up when they had the construction. I said, 'I'm sorry, the baby's gonna come right out, the baby's gonna come right now.' There was no going around (the traffic). I thought I wasn't going to make it."
"I wanted to run the lights on Milwaukee to the hospital."
When they finally got there, Manning ran inside to alert hospital officials, who called a "Code Stork" -- the terminology used when a delivery takes place outside the hospital's obstetrics unit. A paramedic team in a nearby ambulance made it to Martinez's vehicle, where they cut the umbilical cord, and brought mother and child into the hospital.
"We ran out to the front lobby, and by the time I got there, the nurse was already holding the baby," said Dr. Kendra Hall, one of the ER physicians on call Thursday morning. "The baby was looking good. She was pink and crying. That's all you can ask for."