Baby Born in the Backseat
Video recordings of births aren't known for their high cinematic value. But Zachary Russell did a pretty good job, especially considering that he was filming while preoccupied with another task: driving a car.
The drama began on Jan. 20, 2012, when Jennifer Russell went into labor. Zachary settled his wife into the passenger seat of their Ford two-door for the 45-minute drive from their home in Waxahatchie, Texas, to the birthing center in Mansfield, where the baby was meant to make her debut. They should have had plenty of time: Labor averages 16 hours for first-time moms like Jennifer [source: Moisse]. Instead, Jennifer's water broke and baby Willow began her descent down the birth canal on Highway 287.
Fortunately, the birth came off without a hitch. Undaunted by the unusual circumstances, Zachary whipped out his cell phone and captured the event, driving one-handed. After a few close-ups of pavement and pans of the countryside, Willow is seen emerging, red-faced and squalling. Jennifer carefully untangles the umbilical cord from around Willow's neck. At the birthing center, Willow was declared a healthy 8 pounds or so (about 3.6 kilograms).
To us, Willow's delivery embodies the digitally connected age she enters. Her birth was recorded, and her grandmother notified minutes later, via cell phone. The video went global within hours, with 17,000 views on YouTube in her first two days alone [source: Betz].
Up next: A lot of kids get their own rooms -- after they're born. Giving her children the ultimate personal space earned our next mother inclusion in our anthology.