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Unaided, Mom Gives Birth In Van

LaRetha Smith, a pregnant mother of four, was putting her kids in the van to go to school on Tuesday morning when she started to go into labor. She called her husband at work and told him to come straight home. By the time he arrived, his fifth child was waiting for him in the front seat.

The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler got a chance to speak with the happy mother who was surrounded by her children, giggling away.

Recalling the day her son was born, the 27-year-old says she had planned to go to work that day, but started having contractions at 4 a.m. so she got her four kids ready for school.

She says, "My daughter Surreya, she turned the ignition on and got everybody in the car and I came down. And I tried to get in to drive and realized the contractions were too bad to drive." So she got in the passenger's side to wait for her husband.

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Smith's husband, Ernest, works the night shift at Wal-Mart; she had called him earlier to tell him to come straight home.

She says, "We were just waiting, just waiting for my husband to get there. And unfortunately he didn't make it in time. And so to try to get everybody calm, we started singing gospel songs while the contractions were going. As I realized that we were basically out of time, that nobody was going to make it there, my daughter dialed 911 on the cell phone and I pushed and we delivered Soloman."

Her 9-year-old daughter, Surreya, tells Syler, "I was scared." It all happened in a very short time. Smith was in serious labor with her first child for four hours; the second, for three hours; the third, for two hours; and her fourth, for one hour. This one arrived in just minutes.

Smith's husband arrived home a few minutes later to find his wife holding the new baby in her lap.

Smith says, "So he gives me his shirt and we wrap the baby up and I keep him over my leg trying to keep him so he won't swallow anything. And we rushed in the horrible rain to the hospital."

Once they arrived at St. Joseph's Hospital, Smith says, "It was so funny because the nurses weren't prepared or anything, but they made the best of it. And cut the cord and got the baby in and started to take care of him. We just had excellent service. They came rushing out to the car. They took care of everything."

Because of the unorthodox delivery, baby Soloman is under observation at the St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit in Florida.

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