A baby girl was born in the back of a New York City cab on Tuesday, just a block from her parents' Brooklyn home and a couple weeks ahead of her due date.
"We were definitely not expecting it," said mother Beka Economopoulos, 37, who is an Occupy Wall Street protester along with her husband Jason Jones, 39. "In fact, we had just torn up the house the night before, pulling everything out, rearranging furniture. We wanted everything to be ready for the baby."
Mila Amie Economopoulos Jones wasn't due until March 4, but when the contractions hit, it was clear she was on her way. A cab was called, and Beka's husband, Jason, who was in an Occupy meeting, rushed with Economopoulos to the cab, along with another Occupy member.
"By the time we got to the cab, I was in full-on intense labor," said Economopoulos. They were about a block away from their home when the baby arrived.
"I was on my hands and knees in the back of the cab, and my husband just caught the baby," she said.
Their friend in the front seat called 911, and the cab driver hopped out and waved orange flags to direct traffic as they waited for the ambulance to arrive.
Almost immediately, two FDNY ambulances and six NYPD cars pulled up to the waiting cab at Greenpoint Avenue and Diamond Street.
A YouTube video posted by Jones on Wednesday shows FDNY paramedics pulling tiny Mila out of the back of a cab, surrounded by police officers and firefighters. The paramedics take the baby into an ambulance, followed by her mother.
Economopoulos said a caravan of NYPD vehicles escorted the ambulance over the Pulaski Bridge and through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, all the way to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. Once at the hospital, the police officers and the paramedics "all got in the elevator with us, 10 people in the elevator," said Economopoulos. "I thought they would just drop us off at the front, but they kept going, and brought us to the maternity ward."
Economopoulos, Jones and young Mila returned home Tuesday night, and the family is happy and healthy, said Economopoulos. Mila is " wonderful, alert, active," according to her mother.
"It is funny. It's just such a New York story," said Economopoulos. "I loved just how everyone pitched in, from the folks in the [Occupy] meeting to the cab driver to the fire department. I've been in New York for 12 years... and I feel like my faith in humanity is renewed. When things really get serious, people really cooperate."
She laughed as she reflected on the irony of finding police so closely allied with her during her delivery, when she and her husband have traditionally butted heads with them as Occupy protesters.
Still, "it's a pretty fitting story for us," Economopoulos said. "We're both a bit of rabble-rousers, and this little thing arrived just that way."
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