It was the first day of maternity leave for Jeanette Pupko. She spent her day off doing things around the home in preparation for the birth of her first child who was due Nov. 29.
At midnight, Pupko left to pick up soon-to-be daddy, David Versuk from his shift at Trainer's Inn in Lehighton. Upon their return home, Pupko felt the "nesting" instinct kick into full gear and instead of going to sleep, she found herself washing dishes and doing other chores. When she finally did lie down to rest, she started to experience cramping that kept her from falling asleep.
"I knew I wasn't going to bed that night so I said 'Pack the bags!'" Pupko recalled.
"When she told me to pack the bags, I was rushing around and grabbing the wrong stuff," Versuk said.
When he did get everything together, he called Jeanette's mother, Diane Pupko of Quakake, and told her to get the car ready because the baby was coming.
Versuk helped Pupko get into the car, turned the flashers on and quickly drove from Nesquehoning to Quakake.
While waiting for the expectant couple to arrive, Diane Pupko called the hospital in Pottsville and alerted the staff to their pending arrival. She then laid towels across the back seat of her car as a precautionary measure.
Pupko had asked her mother and Versuk to call an ambulance to meet them at her mother's home, but both assured her that she would have plenty of time to get to the hospital.
"They both didn't believe me that she was coming," said Jeanette.
When they reached her mother's residence, they transferred Jeanette into the back seat of her mother's vehicle. Her water immediately broke.
The trio left the home en route to Pottsville. Two minutes later on top of the Delano mountain, little Lucy Anna Versuk was born in the back seat of her grandmother's 2011 Mazda.
"She said, 'she's out' and I turned around and looked in the back seat and there's the baby and her," said Versuk. "I seen the cord was close to her neck, so I grabbed that away from her neck and held on to Jeanette and the baby so they wouldn't slide around in the car."
During all of the action, Jeanette's mom continued to drive on toward the hospital. As luck would have it, Diane Pupko spotted an ambulance in front of her and flashed them down.
"It was a miracle," said Diane Pupko. "I looked up and saw an ambulance."
While the ambulance personnel couldn't transfer Jeanette into their vehicle due to already having a patient on board, they did clamp the umbilical cord and allowed Versuk to cut the cord of his newborn daughter.
They called for another ambulance that transported the family to the hospital. Upon their arrival, the staff greeted them outside with cheers and applause.
"It was a nice experience. Everything kinda worked out perfect," said Jeanette Pupko.
"It's funny too. Mazda's slogan is 'Zoom, zoom,' and that's how the birth was zoom, zoom," Pupko said.
Lucy Anna Versuk was born Nov. 21 at 3:03 a.m. and weighed in at 6 pounds, 14.5 ounces. She is the granddaughter of John and Diane Pupko of Quakake and Steven Pupko of Grier City and of Denise Tracy and Dave Versuk, both of Lehighton.