Everyday, thousands of New Yorkers see strange and exciting happenings on many of the city’s subway platforms.
But, seeing a baby born is not usually one of them.
Francine Alfontent, 27, of Brooklyn, was on her way to Bellevue Hospital Monday afternoon via the F train with her husband, Max, when she realized the baby wasn’t going to wait any longer, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.
“My wife started feeling funny on the train, so I told the conductor and he called ahead to the station,” Max Alfontent said. “When we pulled in, I put her down on the platform and her water broke. I was happy the baby was coming, but I have to admit, I was a little scared.”
Many passersby stopped to help Francine Alfontent, who literally gave birth on the East Broadway F train platform.
A nurse began to comfort her, while a businessman put his briefcase under her head as a pillow. Another man sought out paramedics, who ultimately delivered the baby.
“At least four trains came into the station and it seemed like people from every one of them stopped to help,” Wendy Brown, 44, a social worker told the Daily News.
Brown, who lives in the Bronx, held Francine Alfontent’s hand.
“It was amazing,” Brown said. “You can’t tell me New Yorkers don’t care.”
The proud parents named their baby girl Soleil, which is French for sun.
"Even though this story has a happy ending, it brings into light the significance of recognizing labor, which in some women can be quite fast," said Dr. Manny Alvarez, managing health editor of FOXNews.com. "On the average, for a woman's first baby, labor can take anywhere from 12 to 14 hours, with the last two hours pushing to bring the baby's head out. However, in a woman who has had previous deliveries, the final phase of delivery can literally take minutes."
Francine Alfontent and Soleil were fortunate - they did not suffer any complications.
But Alvarez, who has delivered babies on sidewalks, said these situations aren't always lucky.
"Mothers can have significant tears and injuries to her body while infants can have shoulder distortion and may require neonatal resuscitation due to a very tight nuchal chord around the neck," he added. "Remember, never ignore the signs of labor and think they will go away. It is better to go to the hospital in a timely fashion."