There’s an illusion of ordinary in the quiet neighborhood of Horsham, Pennsylvania, but something extraordinary happened here around 4 a.m. Friday.
Stephanie Arif woke with contractions.
She and her husband, Zulfiquar, who goes by Zulu, got into their car and made their way toward Abington Hospital.
“She stepped one foot into the garage and basically collapsed down,” said Zulu.
The time between the contractions was rapidly decreasing.
“We got about five minutes down the road not even, and I said, ‘Call 911, she’s coming right now,'” recalled Stephanie. “I was in the front seat with my right foot up on the dash.”
In the middle of Route 611, little Aleena was born.
“I scooped her up, I put her on me, and I wrapped her with my dress I was wearing. I didn’t have anything else,” said Stephanie.
Zulu is a doctor, but not one who deals with babies. Stephanie is a nurse practitioner who once dreamed of becoming a midwife.
“Something triggered. She hopped in the car and basically delivered her own baby, so not many people get to say that,” said Zulu.
“Within a couple of minutes, (Aleena) let out a huge cry and I remember saying ‘she’s not blue, she’s not blue,'” said Stephanie.
It’s a 20-minute drive from the Arifs’ house to Abington Hospital. The father said they got there in nine minutes and there was a team of nurses waiting outside.
“Thank God for a really great team over there that received us and took really great care of us,” said Zulu.
Now five days old, Aleena is doing fine and so is her mom. And the couple’s other child, 16-month-old Zain, is a proud big brother.