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Baby doesn't wait until hospital to make arrival





Fate delivered Kristen Heffel's wish for a natural birth Wednesday.

Aspen Sophia Heffel entered the world at approximately 10 a.m. as her parents tried to reach Hays Medical Center. The newborn's 2-year-old brother, Holden, was in the backseat.

"We got to the corner of 27th and Canterbury, and she was completely out, and she cried just as we turned the corner," said Ryan, the father.

All parents can be overwhelmed during a birth, but Ryan had to drive from 41st to Canterbury during the ordeal. The father turned on his emergency lights and quickly navigated traffic in order to get his wife medical attention.

"There's probably some people downtown that are looking out for the blue Jeep that was driving like a maniac," he said.

The incident began after Kristen spent Tuesday evening at HaysMed because she thought her water broke. Doctors' tests were negative, and they discharged her the next morning and told her to monitor her contractions.

Kristen went into labor soon after they reached home. They called their doula, a birthing guide, and she told them to return. The family drove themselves rather than waiting for an ambulance.

"It went us driving home and me considering going to work to her delivering this baby in probably a total time of 30 minutes from the time we were driving back from the hospital," Ryan said.

The father rushed into the hospital trying to explain the situation.

"I ran into emergency and told them we had a baby in the front seat," he said. "I don't think it really occurred to them what I was saying or if I was being serious, because I had to tell them a couple of times before a crew ran out to the vehicle."

The baby was born healthy. Aspen weighs 7 pounds and is 18.5 inches long.