By Lenis Rodrigues, Media Relations Staff
Like thousands of travelers who use the Lincoln Tunnel each morning, baby Sailakshmi got tired of sitting in traffic. So, during Monday’s morning rush hour, she decided to come into the world before she could make it to the hospital.
The newborn was delivered by a team of quick-thinking Port Authority police on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel just outside the toll plaza – the eighth time in seven years that Port Authority police officers have been unexpectedly thrust into the roles of midwives at Port Authority facilities.
When the officers arrived at 7:28 a.m., they found the mother, Sathya Priya Senthik, 34, of Jersey City, in the rear of the Uber vehicle that had been heading to a hospital in Manhattan when the baby girl decided she couldn’t wait. Port Authority Police Officers Catherine Conant, Krystal Armenti and Dana Fuller leaped into action.
“The mom was screaming, and that meant the baby was coming out,” Officer Fuller said. “We were ready.”
The officers then proceeded to deliver the baby girl in the back of the car. Officers Conant and Armenti managed to clamp the umbilical cord and then let the baby’s father, Karthik Lakshmanan, cut it. Mother, father and baby were transported to Hoboken University Medical Center.
Despite the celebrity of being born outside one of the country’s most famous crossings, the baby’s parents chose not to name her Lincoln. Instead, they named her after the Hindu goddess of wealth. She weighed in at 6 pounds, 3 ounces.
Baby Sailakshmi joins a growing list of ‘special deliveries’ handled by the PAPD at Port Authority facilities in recent years, including births at the World Trade Center in 2015 and 2016, at the George Washington Bridge in 2014, the Holland Tunnel in 2012 and 2013, and at the Lincoln Tunnel in 2011 and 2015.
For Officer Conant, it wasn’t the first time she’s been in this position. She previously was involved in one of the Holland Tunnel deliveries.
“I couldn’t have worked with better people to help deliver a baby in this situation,” she said, describing Monday’s delivery as “perfect.”