Mother Delivers Baby in Car at the Doors of Haywood Regional’s ER

June 12, 2017

From left to right: Ashby Brown, Lab Technician and sister to mom Caitlin Austin, Carson Austin, brother, Caitlin Austin, mom, Katie Hargrove, Women’s Care Unit Nurse, and Bethany Cope, Registered Respiratory Therapist. 

Expectant Balsam mother, Caitlin Austin never imagined giving birth to her second child in a car. Caitlin began having active labor contractions at around 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday May 30, 2017. She called her sister immediately to take her to the hospital as she knew the baby was coming quickly. 

Ashby, sister of Austin, works as a lab technician at Haywood Regional and called ahead let the hospital know to expect them at the ER. Big brother Carson, three, was riding in the back seat of the car during the excitement. 

“About halfway there, while traveling on the highway, I could feel him start to come out,” said Austin. 

Women's Care Unit nurse Katie Hargrove holding Dawson.


A team of women’s care nurses, CNAs, doctors, and extra personnel greeted Caitlin at the doors upon their arrival. Katie Hargrove, nurse on the Women’s Care Unit, was working at the time. 

“When we pulled up, Katie immediately checked me in the car and urged me to not push and to breathe, but then I had another contraction and he was coming out,” said Austin. 

Hargrove and Austin laughingly reminisced how after Katie determined the baby’s birth was about to happen, she leaned the passenger seat back toward big brother Carson. Hargrove relates, “When all this was going on, we were just thinking about ‘this baby is coming’ and making sure we tended immediately to he and mom, so I leaned the seat back and he was right behind it". Mom laughingly shares that Carson said, ‘Owwwww’, you’re squishing me mommy’.

Dawson Louis was born at 11:45 a.m. weighing 7 pounds, 2 ounces. He came out crying and perfectly healthy. The family was then transported up to the

Women’s Care Unit where Jody Schmit, Certified Nurse Midwife of Haywood Women’s Medical Center tended to their care for the remainder of their stay. 

Austin credits the entire team at Haywood Regional and especially nurse Katie Hargrove on the exceptional care and experience. She commented that the collaboration between the units was amazing. “Everyone was on the ball with everything.” She added that when the baby came out, staff also tended to Carson to certain he was occupied and calm. “I can’t complain about anything. It really says a lot how Haywood Regional works as an entity,” she said. 

“I can just say that everybody was always fully involved. They were always helpful, always patient, and just awesome. Katie was amazing every step of the way. We enjoyed our gourmet post-delivery meal at the hospital the next day. My fiancé loves steak and I don’t cook that at home,” jokingly she said. “Give that to him here! They make you feel special after you have a baby, and recognize you.” 

The family enjoyed their first meal as a family of four and then were discharged home with their healthy newborn. 


The Women's Care Center at Haywood Regional has an entirely new birthing experience. CLICK HERE for more information.