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Mar 11, 2009 1:09 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Baby delivered in gas station parking lot

Mar 11, 2009 1:09 PM

Peter Jurgensen had a wild ride yesterday.

When his wife, Kristen, called to tell him she was going into labor, the Suffolk County Police officer didn’t expect that she’d give birth in their Chevy Equinox. But that’s how Ethan Richard Jurgensen came into the world Wednesday at around 4:44 a.m., parked at a gas station in Hampton Bays.

“It was an insane, crazy night,” Mr. Jurgensen said. “My wife calls the front desk and asks me, ‘How much pain do I have to be in before your boss lets you leave?’ So I took off, put her in the car and drove to Southampton Hospital.”

Mr. Jurgensen, who lives in Riverhead, said Southampton Hospital was the closest hospital to his house. But en route, as he neared the Hampton Bays Diner, Kristen informed him that they weren’t going to make it.

“‘It’s coming now!’ she tells me,” Mr. Jurgensen said.

He then pulled into the Shell Gas Station across the street from the diner, because the parking lot was well lit. “I slammed the car into park, dialed 911 and got out to go to her side of the car. Soon as I came around to her side, I saw the head. It was just coming out.”

While Mr. Jurgensen was on the phone with Public Safety Dispatcher Tammy Wilson, Kristen pushed the special delivery into her husband’s hands.

“Soon as he came out, I hear him choking and see he’s turning blue,” the new dad said. “His umbilical cord was tied in knots and wrapped around him.” Mr. Jurgensen said he unwrapped the cord and began clearing the newborn’s airways with his fingers. “He began to cry as he started getting positive airflow, and his color got better.”

Mr. Jurgensen credited the speedy response and professionalism of the Southampton Town Police Department and Hampton Bays Ambulance, which arrived within minutes and wrapped the newborn in a blanket and gave him oxygen. “When you’re on the other end and the calvary shows up, it’s a great feeling,” he said.

Mr. Jurgensen said wife and child are “both gorgeous and doing fantastic. She’s a real trooper.” The trio will be heading home soon, where Ethan’s older brother Gunnar, age 23 months, awaits them.

As for Ethan Richard, who weighed in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces: “Soon as he’s old enough, he’s grounded,” his dad said.

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By linda (1), hampton bays on Mar 11, 09 12:26 PM
great story! congrats to you guys!!
By leavingli66 (8), southampton on Mar 11, 09 3:24 PM
Thank you! Sometimes life writes us stories we never planned but will enjoy forever.
By Peter (1), Riverhead on Mar 11, 09 8:29 PM
Congratulations one the new little one! May you all be blessed
By animalcaregiver (14), sag harbor on Mar 12, 09 9:54 AM
im all teary eyed. great story - congratulations to the family !!!
By david h (405), southampton on Mar 12, 09 2:59 PM
Congratulations and Kudos to the SH Town Police and first responders :)
By Amanda (8), Southampton on Mar 13, 09 11:40 AM