Baby Girl Born On 15 Freeway In Lake Elsinore

Stephanie Felix, 19, wasn't due until May 3, but her baby girl just couldn't wait.

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA -- In the time it takes to drive the short distance from Railroad Canyon Road to Nichols Road on the 15 Freeway is what it took for Lea Racio Gonzalez to make her grand entrance into the world Saturday morning.

Rather than wait for a doctor to oversee her delivery, the 5 lb. 14 oz. baby girl made a statement by being born in her aunt’s SUV on the freeway in LA's Lake Elsinore neighborhood.

The story starts at 5 a.m. Saturday, when a very pregnant 19-year-old Stephanie Felix awoke to some back pain. She and dad-to-be, Jose Gonzalez, were in town from West Covina for the weekend visiting Felix’s mom, Lydia Guerrero, in Sun City.

The pain was unexpected – Felix wasn’t due until May 3 – so the three knew they had to skedaddle to the doctor, but not before the expectant mother sent out a cryptic one-liner text message to family and friends: "Peaches."

“My family has that code word for when ‘it’s time,’” explained big sister Charlene Hernandez.

Hernandez, who lives in Wildomar with a family of her own, is a doting aunt, and when she saw “Peaches” flashing across her phone, she said she wasn’t about to let her little sis travel to the doc’s office in Gonzalez’s small Toyota truck.

“I rushed over to my mom’s in my SUV,” she explained. “As a joke I said, ‘I better grab a towel!” noting that she had already snatched a blanket for her sister.

Tucked in the back seat with mom, Felix laid down as Hernandez piloted the group west on Railroad Canyon Road, toward northbound I-15, with a final destination of West Covina to see the doctor who has delivered 13 family members. Gonzalez followed in his truck.

But before they made it to the freeway, Felix’s water broke and, according to Hernandez, the conversation inside the SUV went something like this:

“I have to push.”

“No don’t!”

“I have to!”

“Mom, I think you better check her.”

“Call 9-1-1.”

By the time they reached Central Avenue, Hernandez said the baby’s head was visible, and once at Nichols Road, Lea -- with assistance from Grandma Lydia -- was born. The time was approximately 7:11 a.m.

“My sister never told anyone what the baby’s sex was, so that was a surprise, but we were all pretty calm,” Hernandez said of her niece’s arrival.

It took about 15 minutes before paramedics reached the family parked on the right shoulder of the freeway, Hernandez said. During the wait, they wrapped the baby to keep her warm and huddled together.

Being a proud aunt, Hernandez broke out the camera and continued snapping away as first responders arrived on scene (see the attached photo gallery courtesy of Aunt Charlene).

“We must have looked so funny,” Hernandez said. “Usually when you see an ambulance on the freeway, people aren’t smiling and taking pictures.”

Paramedics bundled mom and baby up and carted them off to Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta.

As of Tuesday morning, Hernandez said everyone is doing great and the baby is healthy.

As for that SUV, it’s in fine shape too.

“Well I had the blanket and the towel, so there wasn’t a mess,” Hernandez said. “That was the first thing my kids wanted to see – the place where the baby was born.

“I can tell you we’re never going to sell that car,” Hernandez added. “It’s staying in the family forever.”

Texas RPh April 25, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Parlor, I was doing as others and stating my opinion. I'm glad that the woman didn't have problems during the birth of her baby, that would have been quite a tragedy. Evidently others that have posted must have been raised differently than I was--had I gotten pregnant at such a young age (married or not), my parents would have been devastated, it would have been much harder to finish college. I hope this couple does not have to struggle, as many do. I am not a fan of those that live off the system. Where I live in Texas, the rate of teen pregnancy is high and people are grandparents at 35, which is shocking to me. But, when they have to live check to check and can't come up with an extra ten bucks for something, I just can't phathom that. The children suffer in the end and it's not fair to them. Things are so different today, with the attitude of, "a woman doesn't have to be married to have a baby." I truly believe a child (especially boys) needs to have a father in his life. If the man was good enough to go to bed with, don't bad mouth him later on when he leaves and doesn't do his duty as a parent. Yes, that is blunt, but truthful. Sadly, there seems to be a lot of sorry men out there, but girls shouldn't be in such a rush to find a man and just "settle". Life is too short to be miserable. I hope the young couple in the story and their baby have a wonderful life full of love and happiness. Sounds like the young woman has a loving family, thank the Lord for that!!
Loca April 25, 2012 at 04:36 AM
The baby does have the fathers last name so i suggest you take your illiterate self off of this article and go get a clue.
Loca April 25, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Clearly not. Hate to break it to you hun, but this is the 21st century. Just because she's not married doesn't mean shes incapable if taking care of a baby. Don't assume that just because she is unmarried that you're paying for delivery.Your comment is utterly ridiculous. Why don't you step down and save your comments for another time.
Parlor April 25, 2012 at 05:11 AM
texas rph this is what I was referring to. Texas RPh 3 hours ago "Who cares, just as long as that baby is healthy? That's all that matters." (yes, I corrected your poorly written sentence, and it's "raising", not "raiseing")
Maria De La Roca April 25, 2012 at 05:42 AM
First, I'd like to congratulate the "YOUNG, UNmarried, and Government Assisted" couple on their new bundle of joy! Thank goodness and the Lord up above that baby arrived to this hectic judgemental world safe & sound. To be honest, if I recall reading correctly the story didn't mention nor confirm marital status, nor if the couple was on public assistance, also it did indeed say the family was rushing to the hospital for that matter. So not like they purposely chose to use the freeway, "ER as a 'Doctor's Office'" or 911 Paramedics as a taxi as described in a previous comment. It was nature of the beast, not even the mother herself can stop her child from wanting to make her grand appearance. Besides, who are we to judge if she paid for her own delivery or we the taxpayers? Quite frankly that's non of our concern for that's not what the article was about for us to "State our opinion" I actually feel sorry for you Texas RPh for thinking the way you do. Trust me like yourself, I once thought the same way until life slapped me in the face! Having been raised outside of the system in a good home, educated like yourself, having been married, and had 2 children by the same father, I gave up a good career to care for my children as a stay at home mother until the day my ex-spouse chose infidelity over his family! Having been left with 2 children, no job, no money guess where I had to turn to in order to get on my own two feet? You guessed it...your hard earned 6 figured tax dollars!
Maria De La Roca April 25, 2012 at 05:54 AM
Cont'd Also needless to say, having been denied government assistance twice, desperate for food & shelter thanks to my ex's selfish act as well as the inconsideration for his family, I was forced to live with family. At the snap of a finger, overnight, unexpectedly, and most of all unwillingly I became a statistic! I had to turn to the one thing I so critisized the most...like you, Welfare! In the end, it helped and thanks to you I was able to surpass the trials of my karma for once thinking the way you did. You probably are more fortunate than I ever will be, but I pray for people like yourself and all other on here for thinking the way you do. I now am extremely lucky, proud, and happy to say I work hard to support my family as a strong independent single mother of two who does pay taxes like you do and don't complain. Can you say the same? I pray that you don't have to go the struggles in life like I did, but sure do hope God has mercy on your dark soul for it shows along with all the other racist, narrow-minded, ignorant people on here in agreement with you commenting of topic. Again, conratulations sincerely from the heart to the proud parents of Lea Gonzales and their family, God Bless!!! ;)
Maria De La Roca April 25, 2012 at 06:03 AM
*others, *go through, *your....these are my corrections for all the stupids who feel like they wanna play "English Teacher" and correct my grammar.
Parlor April 25, 2012 at 06:37 AM
you go Maria "thumbs up to ya girl*
DontJudge April 25, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Wow you are uneducated! WIC is a program specifically for WOMAN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN to be properly nourished. It does NOT pay for "potato chips" like someone claimed- they actually don't cover ANY white potatoes-at all-not even baking potatoes fresh in the produce department! They cover the necessities for a healthy lifestyle-aka Dairy (milk & cheese), grains (bread, & cereal - whole grain not the sugary crap), fruits & vegetables, juice & formula. They are VERY strict on what they cover, only nutritious & proper foods (e.g. skim milk-not whole, no white potatoes, whole grain breads, fresh veggies, etc) Seriously- you're misinformed. WIC is a great program to encourage people FROM living off of potato chips & dollar burgers. The poster that said she followed an overweight WIC user in line at the store probably is mistaking her for food stamps-which are more lenient. Don't criticise a good program that has the right idea. Food stamps should take a hint from WIC. And not everyone on WIC is a deadbeat. I use it myself- work 40 hour weeks NIGHT SHIFT at a respectable job, busting my ass, i'm great with saving my money & spending carefully, but i still need it just to supplement because lets face it- life expensive, & if it can help me guarantee i can afford a $4.50 gallon of milk, yes i am going to use it & i'm not ashamed to either. AND no i am not 19 w/ 3 kids on foodstamps & welfare-btw. I have private insurance through work, but it eats a chunk of my check, WIC just helps.
Melissa Duerr April 25, 2012 at 06:55 AM
You said it all Maria. Way to go. Great Job.
Roberto April 25, 2012 at 06:58 AM
"Wow you are uneducated! WIC is a program specifically for WOMAN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN to be properly nourished" REPLY: It;s mostly for single Moms and allows the receipients to buy drugs and beer using dollars that are freed up not feeding their unplanned off spring.. I say drug test anyone getting FREE givernment tax dollars.
Brad April 25, 2012 at 07:53 AM
I just saw that Paramedic at Starbucks.
Wizard Without Remorse April 25, 2012 at 10:00 AM
I am offended for two reasons. First, they should have named the baby, "Elsinore". Second, "L.A.'s Lake Elsinore neighborhood"? Really? If we can't be a Riverside neighborhood how about San Diego's or Orange County's neighborhood. I will take L.A. over San Bernardino's neighborhood though!
rayne April 25, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Apparently AG has nothing better to do than be a hater. Never have I seen her post a positive post. Maybe if you got a life American Girl you would not have the need to stay online all day blasting your negative attitude and polluting the space. Congrats to the new family.
Tonto April 25, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Ya gotta love it......America.............Land of the Free... loaders :)
julian April 25, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I'm glad you made the conversion into human being. The conservative fascism of "everyone for themselves" and "live your life as I think you should" is preposterous and so unamerican. It really comes down to this simple question: Do we want to live in a country where we aid those who need assistance, or do we want those who need assistance to go unassisted? I guess I'm asking if we are indeed humans or are we just selfish animals?
ANGIE ARELLANO April 25, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Texas RPh April 25, 2012 at 06:46 PM
I'm sorry your ex left you in the situation you described, that is just awful!! I am very thankful I have a great paying job and can be the bread winner, which has been a blessing b/c my husband has been ill and was off work for a bit. My opinions may be considered selfish by others, I do give in other ways though. I was raised to never ask for help and to "figure it out on my own", "it makes you a stronger person", blah, blah. :) My true frustration is those that don't want to help themselves at all and think everyone else is going to do it for them. Glad to know your story has a happy ending--you were able to get on your feet again and have a job that supports your children. Karma will eventually (if it hasn't already) come visit your ex-husband..... LOL Please accept my apologies for offending you. And, yes, congratulations is in order for the Gonzales' family. They definitely have a story to tell!!
Roberto April 25, 2012 at 08:38 PM
RayRay Romero April 25, 2012 at 09:02 PM
there engaged!!! she happens to be my cousin u idiot! they are getting married.
RayRay Romero April 25, 2012 at 09:13 PM
um no my cousin doesnt have his last name cause they are engaged an once they do get married she will have his last name! they dont need government assistance they raise there kids on there own,get a fuckin life.
WorkingMom April 26, 2012 at 01:18 AM
That is right! I am raising 2 kids by myself and doing fine. That is such a rude comment American girl for such a beautiful occasion. She is a beautiful baby. Congrats to the new parents.
WorkingMom April 26, 2012 at 01:21 AM
That comment is very premature! What do you know about this couple and their finances. The article isn't even about that. What makes you think they have no insurance or jobs? Seriously.
WorkingMom April 26, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Listening to these same people comment about their "assumptions" of the use of their tax dollars gets old. I am telling you all too, life can change for you overnight. Would you rather your tax dollars support another country or your own? I am sick of the "don't have kids if you can't take care of them" crap you people dish out. (This applies to many patch article comments.) You definately do not know. Not in this situation or any other. Also, 19 is not too young. Who's opinion is that? Many women have babies at that age and do quite well.
Ronda Kirkbride April 26, 2012 at 05:27 AM
God bless the child who just couldn't wait to see the world! Sweet funny story... Happy family...baby will be loved. God bless the child:)
glen May 04, 2012 at 09:28 PM
would it make a difference if she was married no so shut up
jill smith May 11, 2012 at 06:07 AM
I read all the comments and what caught my eye is Robertos. He is right America is going to collapse unless drastic changes are made. Julian as usual your comment is nonsense. Think about it if we help everyone soon we will not be able to help anyone. Common sense is not Julians strong point.
jill smith May 11, 2012 at 06:07 AM
I read all the comments and what caught my eye is Robertos. He is right America is going to collapse unless drastic changes are made. Julian as usual your comment is nonsense. Think about it if we help everyone soon we will not be able to help anyone. Common sense is not Julians strong point.
jill smith May 11, 2012 at 06:11 AM
I read all the comments and what caught my eye is Robertos. He is right America is going to collapse unless drastic changes are made. Julian as usual your comment is nonsense. Think about it if we help everyone soon we will not be able to help anyone. Common sense is not Julians strong point. Liberals have tunnel vision
jill smith May 11, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Maria De La Roca is a success story. She represents what welfare was meant for. It is meant to be temporary to get you through hard times. She has every reason to be proud.


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