In case you didn't believe the headline, let me say it again: A daddy and his daughter were both born in parking lots more than three decades apart! Little Hannah Grace Mary Pavlik made her debut in the exact locale her daddy did 33 years prior. Suppose the Pavlik's birth detour was so nice that they had to try it twice, huh?
Let's back track 33 years ago for a moment.
On August 18, 1980, Frank Pavlik's mother was en route to the hospital when her baby-on-board decided he was going to speed things up — a lot! — and make his grand entrance way earlier than expected. The shock that she was actually delivering forced the parents-to-be to pull over into a parking lot at the Louis Joliet Mall. Baby Frank was born soon after.
Little did daddy know that a marriage, two sons, and one day shy of his own birthday later, his very first daughter, Hannah, would make her debut in very similar style.
Fast forward to 2013.
Erica Pavlik, Frank's wife, is a veteran mom with two deliveries, 20 hours of labor and two handsome sons to list on her resumé. The mama-of-two thought she knew what to expect the third time around, so when she started feeling the warning signs of labor on August 17, she didn't freak. During her second pregnancy, she said, she experienced false labor pains before actually going into active labor and she thought time around, with baby number three, it was the same thing. When she phoned Frank, she was ready to wait things out.
"I never thought I would have a child without an epidural," she told The Chicago Sun-Times from her home in Yorkville on Monday. But when her contractions came rolling in faster and harder, she knew it was time to head to the hospital. Together with her mom, the two set out for the labor and delivery ward. Her husband, Frank, was still at work.
"I figured that even if it was real labor, I still had another good nine hours or so to go,” she told the Sun-Times. Five miles from home, though, history began to repeat itself. Right after her water broke in the front seat of the car, Erica and her mom pulled off the road and into the parking lot of a BP gas station and called 911 to wait it out. But baby girl Pavlik had other plans.
"Here I am, at a gas station, looking a wreck, and I’m thinking, ‘Is my baby going to be OK?’ The car is not the most sanitary place to do this, but I didn’t have a choice. My body took over,” Erica said, and in the front seat of the car, little Hannah was born, happy and most importantly, healthy.
Looking back on it, mama said, "So many things could have gone wrong, but she came right out. She wasn’t messing around. It took her a minute to cry, but after that, everything went well. The (police and paramedics) were so great. They did such a good job taking care of her and me. We are home now, and her big brothers are very excited."
Three-time daddy (and veteran parking lot baby) showed up just minutes after Hannah was born to meet his protégé.
Mom, dad, baby Hannah and her two big brothers are all doing well.
Where did you give birth?