Delivering your wife's baby with one hand while racing your car across Interstate 595 is not a skill you pick up in medical school.
Dr. Timothy Hawkes, an orthopedic resident at Broward Health Medical Center, managed to pull it off anyway early Tuesday morning inside his Scion XB, with his wife. Katelin, in the passenger seat and his two young kids in the back.
William Carter Hawkes was born weighing 8 pounds 3 oz. at 1:20 a.m. Tuesday in the emergency room's parking lot of the hospital where his father works.
The boy's middle name " Carter" is derived from his being born in a car, his parents said. The healthy boy will be home in time for Thanksgiving Day with his family and with a startling story of how he was born.
"I am used to pressure situations. We see a lot of tense situations here at a hospital like this one, but I am an orthopedic resident," joked Hawkes on Wednesday. "I deal mostly with bones and arthritis. I don't deliver babies."
The situation began shortly after midnight at the couple's Davie home when Katelin Hawkes got up to go to the bathroom and her water broke. The baby's due date was Nov. 26, but she had been scheduled for an early induced delivery Tuesday morning.
The couple ran to the car, strapping the baby's siblings, Camden, 5, and Elle, 3, into their car seats. The wife, lying on towels with the seat fully reclined, said she started to feel some pressure and pain.
Once on the freeway, Hawkes reached down to check his wife and realized the baby was crowning. The doctor alerted the hospital that he was 15 minutes away. There was no music in the car, just a lot of screaming and grunting, his wife said.
"I was more worried that I had two kids in the back seat and I didn't want to scare them too much," the mother recalled on Wednesday. "It's not normal to have a baby born in the car, so I was trying to keep it in there until we get to the hospital."
The father remembers pulling right up to the hospital's emergency room entrance. As he put the car in park with his left hand, he felt the baby's face, neck and shoulders with his right hand.
"I knew this was it. We were going to have a baby in the car," Hawkes said. "I did what I had to do. I had to deliver the baby there or let it fall to the floor."
Without ever leaving the driver's seat, the doctor reached over and delivered his own son.
He remembers making eye contact with the emergency room doctor as she came to the car door.
"She looked at me, she looked at the baby, and I said, 'Yes, the baby is delivered,' " Hawkes said.
Sitting in their hospital room on Wednesday, the couple joked about who will get paid for delivering little William to this world.
"I am going to talk to the doctor about splitting the bill," Hawkes said. "We did half the work."