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796| Precipitous, Unassisted VBAC in a Moving Car after Planned C-section – Emily Geller Hardman

796| Precipitous, Unassisted VBAC in a Moving Car after Planned C-section – Emily Geller Hardman
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796| Precipitous, Unassisted VBAC in a Moving Car after Planned C-section – Emily Geller Hardman

Emily Geller Hardman delivers her baby girl, Esther, in a car in the middle of a 6 hour road trip on August 21, 2018. This marks an amazing medical feat as Emily was 23 weeks pregnant and plans for a Cesarean section were already made with her OBGYN.

The Beginnings of a Road Trip

Emily and her husband Todd had already cleared everything with their doctor prior to their road trip from California to Washington. An ultrasound at their 22 week appointment showed that their baby was measuring small and Emily was in preterm labor. Suppression therapy was administered and the Gellers were given the okay to continue with their 6 hour drive.

What First Looked Like Braxton Hicks

Things were relatively uneventful until the couple stopped for gas. Emily looked down and noticed she was having a cup-sized contraction and a sudden increase in fluid output. This was actually the first sign of labor. However, the couple thought it was just Braxton Hicks as their doctor had told them it was possible that traditional effects of pregnancy could be felt.

Little “Esther” Geller-Hardman is Born

Instead of going to the hospital as they had planned to do when they arrived in Washington, Emily delivered her baby girl unassisted at 3:40 PM in the backseat of their car. A midwife happened to be passing by and offered assistance, but the delivery had already been completed!

The Famous Road Trip Baby

Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the birth, Esther Geller-Hardman has become an Internet celebrity. She is also a true testament to the strength and courage of all mothers who have had to deliver their babies in less-than-ideal settings.

The Aftermath

The road trip parents, now with one extra passenger, completed their journey and were taken to the hospital once they arrived in Washington. The little girl was born twelve weeks premature and only an estimated weight of 2.8 pounds.

The Gellers and baby Esther spent a total of 110 days in the neo-natal intensive care unit. This is a record-breaking length for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) baby, but with lots of prayers and lots of medical attention, Esther Geller-Hardman is now a thriving baby who is constantly monitored by her caring parents.


Emily Geller Hardman and her husband Todd’s story of their miraculous road trip baby is story of resilience and courage. Esther Geller-Hardman is a symbol of hope and strength for all VBAC mothers out there.

The Facts About VBACs:

  • VBAF is successful in approximately 70-80% of cases
  • Risks of VBACs are lower than risks of repeat C-sections
  • VBACs have a low chance of rupturing the previous uterine incision site (1-3%)
  • VBACs can reduce long-term risks associated with C-sections
  • VBACs can reduce the risk of complication for the baby

Therefore, with proper medical supervision, VBACs are a safe and viable option for mothers who have had a previous cesarean. Esther Geller-Hardman’s story is an incredible demonstration of the strength and determination of mothers everywhere.

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