Portia Lindsay gave birth to baby Nathan in an elementary school parking lot in Santa Cruz, Calif., with husband Nathan, a paramedic, assisting in
Portia Lindsay gave birth to baby Nathan in an elementary school parking lot in Santa Cruz, Calif., with husband Nathan, a paramedic, assisting in September. (Dan Coyro/Sentinel)

Nathan Lindsay, a paramedic in Santa Cruz, Calif., had been trained to deliver babies, but not under these circumstances.

Lindsay helped his wife, Portia, deliver their baby, Nathan George Lindsay, in the dark in the front seat of their car about 10 p.m. Sept. 3 in the parking lot of a local elementary school.

The couple was en route to the hospital when they realized they had to pull over.

"I reached down with my right hand and I could feel the whole head was out," Lindsay said.

He said he didn't even have time to call 911, let alone stop and think.

"I did what I'd been trained to do," he said. "It was real easy, it was kind of textbook "... a couple pushes, top shoulder, bottom shoulder and he came right out."

The baby was still in his amniotic sac, so dad ripped the membrane to drain the fluid so his son could breathe.

With the placenta yet to come and the cord still attached to mom, Lindsay wrapped his crying baby in a blanket and sped to the hospital. It wasn't until his wife checked under the blanket that the couple knew they had a son.

The delivery took less than five minutes, Lindsay reported.

Since Portia Lindsay had been in labor for 40 hours with her first pregnancy and 10 hours for her second, she said she didn't expect the baby to come so quickly.

Contractions started at midnight on Sept. 2, and were an hour apart. Throughout the day they grew a little more intense, she said, but were still at least 20 minutes apart.

"It didn't feel like the birth was that soon," she said. "We were just kind of waiting for it to get more intense and it never did."

The game changed after the couple put their two daughters to bed at 9 p.m.

"It went from mellow labor to 'it's about to get real serious,' " said Portia Lindsay, who was more than 41 weeks pregnant at the time.

The couple planned to have Portia's parents baby-sit their girls, but worried that they didn't have enough time to wait. They called a neighbor to come over instead.

Meanwhile, the contractions grew in intensity. Portia Lindsay said that she had a feeling they wouldn't reach the hospital in time.

"It just happened so fast," she said.

"I don't think I was feeling anything," she said. "It was just raw birth."

Nathan George Lindsay weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces and was born outside his sister Leia's kindergarten classroom. He has yet to be issued a birth certificate since he was not born in a hospital.

He already has a nickname though.

"Pilot," said his father. "Since he was born in a Honda Pilot."

Follow Sentinel reporter Kara Guzman at Twitter.com/Karambutan