Mother gives birth during Irma traffic - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Mother gives birth during Irma traffic

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
HARDEEVILLE, SC (WTOC) -

Empty gas stations, slow traffic, and fender benders were all things you likely saw if you drove down any interstate after evacuating. 

But one expecting mother had the scare of her life. She realized she was going into labor - while stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on 95 South. 

Ten minutes after walking in the door, Candice Paige gave birth to her third child. It was what happened in the minutes and hours before that will have the family talking about this birth for years to come. 

Marcus Paige is smiling at his youngest child Presley Paige, who made her first entrance into the world just over 24 hours ago. 

"Anybody that had any kind of role in my daughter's birth, I'm very, very grateful," said Marcus Paige.

That may not sound different than what any father would say to nurses and doctors who delivered his baby. This birth is far from normal. 

The story starts last week. Candice Paige, her mother, and the couple's two other children evacuated ahead of Irma. Marcus, a corporal with Savannah-Chatham Metro police, stayed in town to work. The Paiges did consider the possibility of giving birth during the evacuation.

"If that happens then her safety, the baby's safety, the other kids and my mother-in-law's safety is more important rather I'm there or not," said Marcus.

Luckily, that didn't happen... at first. The family got up around 9 Tuesday morning to come home.

"About 11 o'clock, I started having minor little contractions here and there. That's when I figured, she's on the way," said Candice.

Her initial goal was to make it to Savannah. However - traffic got thicker and the contractions got closer together. Eventually, they got off in Hardeeville to get gas at Butler's Service Center. They're in this red car. Candice couldn't wait any longer. 

"I get another call saying, 'Hey you're just going to have to come to Hardeeville. I can't hold on anymore," said Marcus.

Police happened to be there. They quickly called for EMS. 

"Once the paramedics and they checked my contractions, they were like 'yeah, it's time to go," said Candice.

"Ms. Presley decided to make her presence before daddy got here, but I am so thrilled that she's here," said Marcus.

Paige had special thanks for the police officers who helped his wife. 

"The thin blue line is way thicker than what people want to believe. I'm sure, and he can rest assured if his wife was ever in Savannah, and I come across her, I'd do the exact same thing," said Marcus.

By no means - the birth the Paiges were expecting - but it's a birth they'll never forget. 

The Paiges also profusely thanked the staff here at Coastal Carolina Hospital. Candice says they made the crazy experience as smooth as possible.

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