Smith: A new bundle of joy in the passenger seat

Asher Vander Vennet turns 2 days old Sunday. Let's see if he doesn't say one day that he feels lucky to have born on Friday the 13th in the parking lot of Kaiser's Santa Rosa hospital.

His mother, Julia, woke his dad, Tim, at their home in Petaluma at about 10 p.m. Thursday to say she was having contractions, serious ones.

Tim Vander Vennet, a division manager at a software company, quickly phoned his folks and asked them to come over and stay with his and Julia's 2-1/2-year-old daughter, Edin.

They arrived and Tim helped Julia into his car and headed for Santa Rosa.

By then it was about 11:30 and Julia's contractions were intensifying. Tim said he'd have liked to go 80 mph but there was a sheriff's deputy ahead of him and he didn't want to risk the delay of being pulled over, so he kept his speed at 65.

Somewhere along Highway 101, Julia, the Denmark-born head psychologist at Redwood High School in Larkspur, announced, "I really feel like this baby is coming!"

At about Todd Road, she told Tim the baby was crowning. Just as he exited at Bicentennial, within view of Kaiser, Julia gasped and reached down.

Tim had just pulled into the parking lot when Julia rocked back and lifted her arms.

"All of a sudden, she's holding our child and I said, 'Oh, my God!' She delivered him herself in the front seat of my Audi."

It was just then just after midnight on Friday the 13th. Tim spotted a deputy sheriff and some other people near the entrance to the emergency room and he pulled up and shouted to them. "Help!"

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