Carolynn Chin and her family. (Courtesy of Carolynn Chin)
By Dale Boyd
It was around 7 a.m. on Aug. 2 when Osoyoos woman Carolynn Chin started having her contractions, and around 8 a.m. her baby daughter Gaia was born on the side of Highway 97.
The now mother of two is calm in her retelling of the harrowing journey, which was intended to bring Chin to her midwife’s house in Penticton, but baby Gaia had other plans.
“Basically, we just didn’t have enough time to get there,” Chin laughed.
She and her husband, Francesco Oliva, had to pull over before they could reach the mid-wife’s house.
“It just happened to be the next safest place after I told my husband the head came out,” Chin said.
The couple pulled over at the Kaleden weigh station.
“My husband was just trying to think safety I’m sure, making sure everyone is OK, making sure we’re at a safe spot to stop.”
The scene attracted the attention of a local weigh station worker who called the ambulance.
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“He was saying ‘slow down,’ because we were coming in really fast,” Chin said and once alerted to the situation, the weigh station worker radioed for an ambulance, but Gaia was well on her way into the world.
“Then there was the next contraction and I had to get the baby all the way out and my husband was there ready to catch her. Basically five minutes later the ambulance arrived and took really nice care of us,” Chin said.
After a quick check-up at the hospital the couple returned home with their newborn daughter.
Throughout the ordeal Chin was able to take it in stride.
“I felt like everybody else was really excited, obviously I’m excited my baby has just been born I’m super happy about that, but I wasn’t excited about the nature of everything else like everyone else was,” Chin laughed. “I think it had a lot to do with the hormones. They are quite elevated in those moments. You tend to think a bit differently. It was quite the experience.”
She was surprised at the media attention baby Gaia has brought on.
“Everybody wants the story, I’m surprised. I wouldn’t think it was newsworthy,” Chin laughed.