Steven Anthony Garcia, one day old today, was born in the fast lane.
On Interstate 15.
It was 4 a.m. Monday on I-15 north of Rancho Bernardo Road. Marion De Venere of Poway was driving home from paying a telephone bill to study for her Palomar College exams when she saw a woman by the side of the road trying to flag down motorists.
De Venere, 45, initially thought it might be a dangerous setup, but said she knew enough to recognize panic and felt the need to help the woman.
The woman in distress, 30-year-old Cindy Musgrave, had driven her car over an embankment and into a tree. De Venere said she was amazed that Musgrave had walked away from the accident.
Everything seemed all right, until a few minutes later. De Venere said another car soon stopped at the scene and a frantic, Spanish-speaking man summoned the women for help. De Venere said they didn't understand what he was saying until another bystander who arrived at the scene said: "Is there someone here who knows about delivering babies?"
De Venere said the husband, 34-year-old Carmillo Garcia of Ramona, watched as she did what she could to help his wife, Maria, give birth, a process she said took about three minutes and a lot of instinct.
De Venere, herself the mother of six children, couldn't understand the Spanish-speaking mother, but said in those situations, "communication goes beyond words." The baby boy was born at 4:11 a.m.
Paramedics arrived 10 minutes later and took the accident victim and the mother and baby to Pomerado Hospital, where Musgrave was treated and the baby was weighed in at 9 pounds, 7 ounces. Steven Anthony Garcia passed the day Monday in fine condition.
"The adrenaline was going some time afterward," De Venere said. "I was grateful I could be there at the time I was needed."
De Venere and Garcia, 35, are mothers of six children each now, and both have four boys and two girls. Although De Venere had never been a midwife before, she has been a volunteer at Pomerado Hospital and is studying child development.
"How often does one have the opportunity to do this?" she asked. "It was a beautiful situation. I heard the first cry in the life of a special child--a child which brought two women from different backgrounds together."