Followup: The West Seattle baby almost born on the bridge

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It was truly a matter of life and death on and around the West Seattle Bridge Tuesday morning.

While thousands will remember it for an incredibly long commute – two families were changed forever.

As reported here yesterday, one of those is the family of Bradly Gilmore, the 53-year-old motorcyclist who died after crashing while swerving to avoid a car in the eastbound lanes of the bridge just before 7 am.

Today, we finally have the rest of the story behind the other situation that briefly complicated the commute, as we had mentioned in our Twitter feed that morning:

(To be specific, the original call on the scanner was about a woman in an SUV whose “water broke” for her second baby.) Commenters later asked what happened with the woman in labor. We found out from Seattle Fire Department that morning that she had been taken to Group Health; we asked their media-relations team if they could tell us what happened, and they said simply that they had given her our phone number.

This afternoon, we finally got to talk by phone with Desirée, the mom who gave birth that morning. She tells WSB that her new son Brayden was born 8 minutes after they got to the hospital – at 8:18 am Tuesday. She agreed to share a photo:

Desirée says her mom was driving her to the hospital when they encountered the traffic jams that had gripped just about every road leading to the West Seattle Bridge that morning. When necessary, Desirée says, she told her mom, “get in the middle lane and drive.” Then they got to the light at Delridge and Genesee. “Mom, just drive!” she urged.

Then – “a big contraction” – and “I said, ‘Mom, the baby’s coming,’ and we pulled over.”

The crew from nearby Station 26 got there within minutes. She said they kept wanting to “pull down the back,” thinking she might deliver at any moment, and Desirée was adamant: “‘I’m NOT going to have the baby on the freeway, I’m going to have it in the hospital.”

They told her, she says, that if she didn’t push, the ambulance MIGHT get there before the baby did.

It did. But then the ambulance had to make its way through the traffic jam, with those two right lanes still blocked off for investigation of the tragic accident only an hour earlier.

She says the drive to the hospital was crazy – they were trying to give her an IV, take her vital signs, “I’m having my contractions and yelling, and we are 10 blocks from the hospital, they’re telling me ‘don’t push, don’t push, just breathe’ – I had maybe five contractions in the ambulance, and once we got to Group Health, it was 8:10, and I had the baby at 8:18.”

Desirée says stories of women having their babies in cars on the roadside used to leave her with eyebrows raised – how could that happen?

Now that it has almost happened to her, with 9-pound, 5-ounce Brayden, she says, she understands!

19 Replies to "Followup: The West Seattle baby almost born on the bridge"

  • L September 29, 2011 (3:41 pm)

    Congratulations on your newest bundle of joy! So happy to hear baby was born healthy and both mom and baby are well. Take care.

  • JAT September 29, 2011 (4:14 pm)

    Given all the emphasis on emergency preparedness lately it’s worth noting that we don’t have much in the way of a hospital out on the W.Sea peninsula…

  • J September 29, 2011 (4:30 pm)

    Welcome little Brayden! You have a very exciting story to tell the rest of your life. Glad everyone is OK.

  • MB September 29, 2011 (5:18 pm)

    That’s one of those stories that makes you stop and think. Life is so precious and fragile. Congrats to one family and condolences to another.

  • visitor September 29, 2011 (5:21 pm)

    what a cutie!

  • ellenater September 29, 2011 (5:35 pm)

    Great story!

  • jazmyn September 29, 2011 (6:03 pm)

    i hope everyone is okay. ='(

  • Mary T September 29, 2011 (6:04 pm)

    Congrats!!! 9.5 — good job! : D

  • Debra September 29, 2011 (6:50 pm)

    Welcome to Brayden, what a beautiful baby!

  • WMO September 29, 2011 (6:54 pm)

    TR, You missed one point in your coverage:

    While thousands will remember it for an incredibly long commute – two families were changed forever.

    At least one (my family), if not thousands of families have been changed, thanks to your coverage of both of these stories.

    Thank you.

  • robin September 29, 2011 (7:54 pm)

    He’s beautiful! Congratulations to mom for making it to the hospital.

  • AJP September 29, 2011 (9:15 pm)

    Lovely story! A 9 lb baby in such a short time, lucky mama!!! Congrats!! As a side note and response to JAT, I chose Highline in Burien for many reasons, but traffic was definitely one of them. I knew it’s a pretty easy shot on the 509, but if that were backed up for some reason getting there on side streets is also easy. Just in case anyone out there is considering this…

  • homesweethome September 29, 2011 (10:15 pm)

    While not on the peninsula, Highline in Burien is a wonderful hospital with one of the best ER’s around. Hop on 509 and you’re there in just minutes, no bridge.

  • miws September 29, 2011 (10:31 pm)



    I think Brayden is an excellent name!


  • Joel September 29, 2011 (10:49 pm)

    Rip Bradly, remember to look twice for motorcycles

  • Sgt. Hartman September 29, 2011 (11:54 pm)

    Congratulations. Great story.

    If the morning commute over the bridge gets much worse than it’s been lately, and I’m sure it will as 99 construction progresses, it may be possible to both conceive AND give birth to a child on the road.

  • kmn September 30, 2011 (9:20 pm)

    Bradley and Braydon.

  • momkat September 30, 2011 (9:36 pm)

    Beautiful baby! Thank you for sharing this darling picture.

    I agree with Sgt Hartman – venturing onto the bridge for the morning commute takes a certain amount of faith and a lot of fortitude.

  • cutie September 30, 2011 (10:43 pm)

    Bless him and his mommy!

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