High-speed birth

Craig woman delivers baby in front seat of car

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When Jamie Mitchell went into labor in November, she thought she had enough time to pick up her boyfriend and meet her doctor at a hospital in Steamboat Springs.

"I was hoping I would make it," the mother of four said.

But just past Milner, in the middle of a blinding snowstorm, Mitchell, 22, realized her son was on his way whether she made it to the hospital.

She gave birth to Nathan James Demarais at about 2 a.m. Nov. 17 in the front seat of her Jeep Cherokee.

Nathan was born after a three-hour ordeal that led Mitchell to decide he was her last child.

It was a little after 11 p.m. when Mitchell's contractions were about five minutes apart and lasting two-minutes.

Having given birth to three children already, Mitchell said she thought she had plenty of time to make it to the hospital and give birth in the relative comfort of a hospital room.

She found a babysitter for her kids and drove to pick up her boyfriend, who was working on an oil rig near Hayden.

It took her more than an hour to drive up the winding mountain road to her boyfriend's work site.

When her boyfriend, Mike Demarais got in the car, he didn't understand what the hurry was.

He said he thought they were going to Steamboat to induce labor. He didn't realize Mitchell was already in labor.

Even when Demarais realized Mitchell was in labor, he kept his focus on the snow-covered highway.

"I didn't really look at her," he said. "It was really snowy, so I didn't want to look away from the road."

His hands went numb from squeezing the steering wheel so tight, Demarais said.

When they pulled up to Yampa Valley Medical Center, Mitchell had the baby in her arms, wrapped in a pair of pajamas.

The umbilical cord was still attached.

Mitchell said the only thing she wanted when she got to the hospital was a bed and some painkillers.

Nathan James weighed in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces, almost a pound heavier than her second-largest baby.

When Mitchell got home, her mother joked that she should put "Jeep" in her new baby's name.

Mitchell and Demarais dec-ided against that.

But Demarais said maybe his son's first car would be a Jeep.

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