Mom and baby Marielle doing fine after YMCA parking lot delivery

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Dana and Tim Lu planned on having a natural childbirth but a parking lot delivery at a YMCA was not part of the equation for the Haverford Township couple – until Thursday.

Lu woke up at 5:30 a.m. with some mild cramping, thinking that it might be baby time. Forty-five minutes later when contractions began in earnest, she started to make calls to family, her midwife, and doula. With her husband, Tim Lu, at the wheel, they headed off to Einstein Medical Center in Montgomery County where they planned on having their third child.

Morning traffic did them in.

“We didn’t get out of Havertown,” Lu said from her room at Bryn Mawr Hospital with the newest family member, Marielle.

“About seven minutes into the drive, I told my husband to turn around and go to Lankenau Hospital,” she said, as contractions started coming more quickly. “Two minutes after that, I told him to call 911.”

Tim was calm through the entire delivery, his wife said. His only concern was that if there were a problem, they were not at a hospital with a neonatal unit. With a little coaching from a 911 operator, he followed the instructions.

“I kinda knew what to do from having a baby before,” Lu said. Tim supported the baby’s head when it came out, and after the delivery, Lu picked up Marielle and put her on her chest. Three minutes later the ambulance arrived, she said.

Marielle is very calm, peaceful and a great eater, her mother said. She has already met her two older brothers, 6-year-old Max and 21-month-old Miles. “They just love her already,” she said.

“We are both doing great,” she said“We are just happy the end result was what it was.”

And, she is getting teased by her family.

“Only you would be the one to have a baby in the car,” they told her. 

On Facebook, readers who know the area wondered how the Lus scored a parking spot in the normally crowded lot.

After reading the Lus’ story on, some local readers marveled at how the parents managed to score a parking spot in the normally crowded lot.

“Seriously, that parking lot is the busiest place in the township,” Bill Donohue posted on Facebook.

“They probably did this on purpose so they could get a spot in the ‘Parents With Children’ row immediately.  Congratulations! What a great story,” Laurie Stewart wrote.

Other readers commented with their own unusual birth experiences, in Valley Forge Park, in a bathroom and on a front lawn. 

“Welcome to the club of delivering on the streets of Havertown, Lu family. HPD came to our daughter’s birth on Lawrence Rd almost 7 years ago!” Danielle Cunningham Lill posted on Facebook.

Tim Lu is thankful for the experience now that everything is okay, his wife said.

“It is a great story he can tell his daughter one day,” she said.

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