HOBOKEN – When Sathya Priya Senthil started having contractions inside her Jersey City home Monday morning, she and her husband thought there was time to get to the New York hospital where her baby was to be born.
But instead of giving birth in the comfort and security of a hospital, it was in the backseat of an Uber where Senthil had her 6-pound, 3-ounce daughter -- thanks to three Port Authority police officers who were ready to assist just outside the Lincoln Tunnel.
"I was in severe pain, but I can't explain and I can't tell," Senthil said from Hoboken University Medical Center, where she was taken following the backseat delivery. "It was so quick."
Senthil, who also has an 8-year-old daughter, said she began feeling pain early this morning. She and her husband, Karthik Lakshmanan, dropped their other daughter off at the neighbor's house and headed to Tisch Hospital in Manhattan.
But as their Uber was approached the Lincoln Tunnel, Senthil said she felt the baby girl coming.
The driver pulled over and three Port Authority officers – Krystal Armenti, Catherine Conant, and Dana Fuller – arrived to help finish delivering the baby. Lakshmanan cut the umbilical chord and the mother and child were brought to the HUMC.
"It was a very uncomplicated birth," Conant said. "If you could ask for a birth at the tunnel, it was perfect."
Conant helped deliver a baby once before at the Holland Tunnel, but this was the first baby Armenti and Fuller helped deliver. Fuller, the father of two girls who were born via C-section, said experiencing a natural birth was quite different.
The three officers, who graduated the academy together about five years ago, said this is a day they will remember forever and talk about for a long time. The family was reunited with the man and two women who helped deliver their baby at Hoboken University Medical Center, just six hours after the birth.
"I have to thank the officers," the happy father said as her daughter napped. "Otherwise, if we had gotten stuck in the tunnel, I don't know what we would have done."