Two different women went into labor and gave birth in their cars during Monday morning rush hour on a road heading to Jerusalem.
Luckily, a medic who was stuck in the same bottleneck traffic attended to one expectant mom, then the other, even sending photos to Israeli media showing the precious fruits of their labor.
Like other parts of the Middle East, Jerusalem was hit by a large snowstorm last week, and Israeli radio stations on Monday urged drivers to be careful after wet roads turned icy when temperatures dipped below freezing overnight. That led to epic gridlock, including on Route 443.
Aharon Pomp, a medic who volunteers with the rescue organization Ichud Hatzalah, was in his vehicle when he noticed a woman bent over in her car.
“I was on my way to work in Jerusalem when suddenly I heard a man in his 40s calling for urgent help,” Pomp told the Hebrew news site Walla. The man said his wife was experiencing contractions one minute apart.
“I ran to the car with a medical kit and I saw a woman giving birth,” he said. He and the woman’s husband transferred her to a nearby police van that was heated. Coincidentally, a woman who works as a midwife was also stuck in the same traffic and joined those helping the woman in labor.
Pomp told the Israeli site The Post, “As we were moving her into the [other] car, I noticed that the [baby’s] head was already outside. It was like in the movies.”
Pomp said he encouraged the woman to stay calm, but she didn’t need his reassurance -- she was delivering her 14th child.
“It was a very emotional moment when I let the mother hold the baby,” Pomp said.
The excitement didn’t end there for Pomp. Immediately after delivering the baby, he was called to another car stuck on the same road about a mile away.
“I was stuck in a long traffic jam. I saw two women running toward me and asking if I can help a woman who was giving birth" said medic Dudi Steinharter of Ichud Hatzalah who also aided on the second call.
He said that he “saw a woman bent over in order to give birth. I then called for backup from other volunteers who were also in the traffic jam. Within minutes, a midwife and nurse arrived and we delivered [the baby] right in the vehicle. Later I put her in the ambulance and went to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus where they received us with applause and joy.”