NEW HYDE PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A baby girl born on the side of the Southern State Parkway on Long Island is being called “The Southern State Baby.”

The harrowing and happy tale began with an urgent wake-up call.

“She had contractions in the morning, and we decided that it was time to go to the hospital,” the father, Judd Jaworowski, told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.

With her labor pains getting more intense, Jaworowski helped Jessica Brooks into their minivan and the couple headed westbound on the Southern State Parkway to the hospital.

“I guess my instinct was that yes I’m having the baby, but I knew we couldn’t drive anymore, so just pull over,” Brooks said.

Jaworowski had to pull over on a narrow railing just before the Meadowbrook Road exit.

It was time.

“Went around the car and the baby’s head was out, it just felt natural to take the baby and wipe the baby’s face off. It was crying and I knew that was a good sign,” the father said.

He called 911 and stayed on the phone with police dispatchers.

“We didn’t even look to see if it was a boy or girl, and she’s like – what is it? I’m like – oh yeah, it’s a girl,” Jaworowski said.

They named the five pound, healthy girl Sage Elise.

First responders found the infant healthy and cut the umbilical cord before escorting the relieved family to the hospital.

“It’s rare that you find a family, and especially a husband, that’s driving down the parkway that can have the cool, calm, collected head to pull over,” Supervisor of Nassau County Police Medics Scott Depino said.

Brooks said the truth is, she really had no choice.

“When she wanted to come, she came,” she said.

Sage Elise was comfortable in the maternity ward and doing fine, Carlin reported. Her parents said it’s a story that she will hear over and over again of how she was born on the side of a major highway.

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