Grandparents seem to have a special bond with their grandchildren, but the link between Gina Miranda of Belen and her new granddaughter, Makayla, can never be broken.
Makayla Jade Miranda-Gallegos was born Sunday, June 9, at a healthy six pounds, nine ounces. Although Gina is still trying to get used to being called, Grandma, she will never forget the day Makayla was born.
It wasn’t a typical birth. Makayla’s mother, Adriana, wasn’t in a hospital delivery room when she delivered her first baby — she was in the back seat of Gina’s car. Makayla wasn’t due to come into the world until June 12, but, Adriana said, Makayla just couldn’t wait.
Adriana’s contractions started the day before, but, because they were 25 minutes apart, she thought she had plenty of time to get to the hospital.
“They didn’t really get regular until 10:30 that night,” Adriana said of her contractions. “And then they were still 15 minutes apart.”
Expecting the delivery to take place some time the next day, Adriana and Makayla’s father, Josh Gallegos, were at his house just waiting and timing the contractions. It was 12:30 a.m. when Adriana’s contractions started to come more regularly and closer together.
“We started timing it again and they were about eight minutes apart. And I still waited about half an hour before we decided to go to the hospital,” Adriana remember.
Grandma Gina was home in bed when she received the phone call from her daughter saying it was time to go to the hospital. Gina and her husband, Dennis, jumped in their car and went to pick up their daughter and Josh for the blessed event.
With Dennis driving and Josh riding in the front passenger seat, Gina was in the back seat with Adriana, taking care of the soon-to-be mother and counting the contractions.
“When we got in the car, I started to time them,” Gina said. “They were about five minutes apart when we left Belen. The next time I checked them, they were about two minutes apart and we were in Los Lunas.”
A few minutes later and a couple of miles down the road, Adriana’s contractions seemed to be right on top of each other, Gina said. Gina, who described her daughter’s mood as calm, said she never expected what came next.
“The minutes went away and they turned to seconds,” Gina said. “I noticed she started to crown, and that’s when I knew it was time. I didn’t have time to think. Adriana told me she thought she needed to push, and I told her she had time. But when I saw that the baby was already coming out, I got down to the floor of the car and got Adriana as comfortable as I could in the back seat of the car.”
They had already passed Isleta Pueblo and were a few miles away from the hospital when Adriana said she felt she just had to push. Without informing Dennis or Josh what was happening in the back seat, Gina realized she would have to take over the situation and help deliver the baby.
“Adriana looked at me and I told her ‘We’re going to have this baby’,” Gina said. “I didn’t have any boiling water or anything, but I had her relax her legs and I told her to push again.”
With one push, Adriana delivered Makayla right into Gina’s awaiting arms. Without a blanket in the car, Gina grabbed a pillow case with which to wrap the new-born baby.
When Josh turned around and saw his new daughter in Gina’s arms, his eyes opened wide and his mouth dropped open, Adriana said.
After Dennis heard the baby cry and asked Adriana if she was okay, Gina told him to hurry to the hospital. When they arrived, Josh went inside the emergency room to get help.
“About 15 or 20 people came out to the car to congratulate Adriana and to see what had happened,” Gina said. “They checked her out and took her inside to the labor room.”
Adriana and Makayla spent two days in the hospital, where they were the talk of the town. Suggestions for names for the baby from the staff ranged from “Freeway” to “Big I” to “Maxi,” because she was born in Gina’s Maximum.
Adriana never expected that her own mother would deliver her baby, but said it was a “neat” experience and was happy her mother was there for her.
“I just think it was very special,” Grandma Gina said. “It’ll always be our little bond, and we’ll always remember the way she came into the world.”
Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.