Mother gives birth on sled in minus 15-degree wind chills

Newborn baby Bella Sophia Bonanni entered the world in quite a unique, wintery fashion. It was early in the morning when Bella’s mother, Shirley Kim Bonanni of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania awoke to contractions that were 10 minutes apart.

As reported by WPVI Action News, Shirley, not a first time mother, thought there was still time before she would go into labour.

So, she was surprised when she, “Took a shower and after the shower it was like back to back contractions. And once we got out of the house there was no way that we were going to make it to the hospital.”

Fabian Bonanni, Shirley Kim Bonanni, and baby Bella Sophia Bonanni. Photo: WPVI.

When Bella’s grandparents arrived to watch Logan, Shirley and Fabian’s two-year-old son, the couple attempted to get to the hospital.

But the family’s home sits on a steep hill and Shirley’s husband, Fabian was unable to drive the car up to get to his wife. Shirley was also unable to walk down the hill.

The steep hill next to the Bonanni's home. Photo: WPVI.

That was not a problem because her well-prepared husband had a plan B in place: a sled.

He told WPVI, "It seemed like it was walkable to the car. But I had the sleds just in case it was super-slippery, because we had that ice storm like a week or two ago." In minus 15 degree wind chills, Fabian placed Shirley in the sled and began to push her down to the car and that’s when Bella decided it was time for her birth.

The sled used when Shirley Kim Bonanni went into labor. Photo: WPVI.

Neighbours heard Shirley’s screams and helped the parents and grandparents with the delivery.

Their neighbour, George Leader, told WKYW CBS Philly what happened on the side of the street in the sled, “The father right there. I was on the phone with 911 talking him through it. The in-laws were right there at the mother’s head helping her out. And we kind of all kicked into action and little Bella came out happy and healthy.”

George Leader, neighbour of the Bonannis. Photo: WKYW.

An ambulance made its way up the street to take the family to Temple University Hospital. 7 lb. 9 oz. baby Bella and her mother are doing well and will return home in a couple of days.

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