OAK BROOK – Last week, Liz Shishkoff's sister was in town and gave she and her husband, Ray, a book, suggesting he read the chapter about what to do if you have to give birth in an emergency.
"I never got around to the reading," Ray said Tuesday afternoon at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital. "That would've been nice."
Ray did fine without it, though, when earlier that day the Glen Ellyn couple had to take the birth of their first child into their own hands after Liz went into labor.
Monday night, Liz said she felt what seemed like contractions, so the couple started timing them before going to sleep.
"Apparently I was the only one that went to sleep," Ray said.
At about 2 a.m. Tuesday, Liz said the contractions intensified. After calling the doctor, the couple hopped in the car to drive to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, but had to stop the trip short.
"By the end of the next contraction she said, 'Pull over now,'" Ray said.
The Shishkoffs parked off eastbound Interstate 88 near Route 83 in Oak Brook. Ray called the paramedics, but their first born wasn't going to wait, so he helped deliver the baby girl.
At 4:05 a.m., Ray wrapped up Charlotte River Shishkoff, 7 pounds, 20 inches, in his sweater and handed her to Liz.
Ray said if the couple had known the baby was that close to delivery they wouldn't have tried to make it to the hospital, but both he and Liz said they were just grateful everyone was healthy and doing well.
"Once she was born, it didn't matter how long the paramedics took to get there," Liz said.
After the paramedics arrived, the couple was taken to Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.
"I called my mom and said, 'So, it's a girl ... I kind of just had to deliver her on the side of I-88,'" Ray said, with a laugh.
Liz said during the delivery she wasn't scared, and just tried to stay the moment and get through the situation.
The couple said they planned on having two kids close together, but might hold off on that for a little while.
"I think when she came out and I wrapped my sweater around her it kind of hit me all at once," he said. "It was like a waterfall of emotion or something – it was crazy."