Two days ago, new mother-to-be Dana Tottenham and her friend Sherry Ebrahimi attended Emory’s Founders Day Dinner together. “It’s our annual ritual. We always go as each other’s ‘date,’ and I joked that I had to make it to 37 weeks pregnant to not miss the dinner this year! (My 1st child was premature, so I was at risk for pre-term delivery again).”
Dana and Sherry enjoyed the dinner, and yesterday, the two attended the My Emory celebration on the campus quad, where Sherry brought Dana a hot chocolate and everything was business as usual, until suddenly, Dana went into labor.
Dana asked co-workers and friends Sherry and Elizabeth Manieri to drive her to Emory University Midtown Hospital (EUHM). A few frantic phone calls were made as Sherry drove so Dana’s husband was aware she had gone into labor and would meet her at the hospital.
Nature intervened. Midway through the short drive to EUHM, Dana’s labor escalated. The ladies pulled into the hospital’s valet parking area and Elizabeth quickly raced to get the doctor and Dana’s husband. In that short time, Dana and Sherry had delivered Dana’s newborn baby—a boy, weighing 6 lbs 0.7 oz—right in the car.
“I never doubted that we would make it to the hospital in time. Of all the people in the universe, Sherry was the best person to be my charge nurse–doula-driver-and midwife on that fateful day. I did have to fight through every contraction to not push, because I felt the baby’s head crowning as we were on Ponce de Leon. As soon as we pulled up to the hospital curb, I simply surrendered to the moment, and Adlai was born,” recalls Dana.
Sherry recalls the fairly chaotic moment with an overwhelming sense of peaceful joy, “It was one of the most amazing experience of my life! When I saw the baby coming, I grabbed him and held him while Dana reached down and untangled the umbilical cord. When I passed him to her it was the most beautiful newborn- mom moment—my eyes got teary and I exited the car so they could have a bonding moment. Surprisingly, I was calm—I think because we were parked in front of the hospital- so I knew help was on the way. Dana was calm the whole time…an absolute rock star through it all.”
Minutes later, medical help and Dana’s husband, Eric, arrived to celebrate the birth of Adlai Tottenham Chang. Dana says of her baby’s grand entrance, “Adlai Tottenham Chang (boy), was born February 5, 2013 @ 12:14 pm in a Toyota Camry, right outside Emory University Midtown Hospital. He’s 6 lbs 0.7 oz., 46 cm long.” Adlai, whose name means “God is Just,” joins his big brother Lyndon in the family.
“You may have heard of another Adlai (Stevenson)- US Ambassador to the United Nations during Kennedy and LBJ’s administration (Brother Lyndon’s namesake). We think our little guy has global ambitions. He was born in a car, so he’s ready to hit the road and meet the world!” Dana exclaims.
From the whole Emory Healthcare family, welcome to the world, Adlai.