GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Michelle Serrano Gonzalez canceled her last client of the day at her hair salon because she said she was experiencing intense pain and bleeding.
“I was scared. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to die,'” Serrano Gonzalez said. “I just prayed, ‘Oh Lord, help me.'”
It was late October, and the working mom of six was nearing the end of her pregnancy. At 42, she was set to have a C-section. She said she had never given birth any other way.
Serrano Gonzalez said she went to her doctor on a Monday thinking her baby was coming. She said she was told she was having Braxton Hicks contractions and wasn’t really in labor.
Two days later, she found herself alone in her car, delivering her baby herself.
“The 911 operator on the phone said just go ahead and push, don’t keep her in. And I pushed,” Serrano Gonzalez said. “I could feel me tearing and I felt her head come out … I quickly just grabbed her. She was still in her sack. I could see her swimming around in the fluid and crying, and I quickly just yanked the sack off of her.”
EMTs from Georgetown’s Fire Station 6 rushed into the Hill Country Salon Suites parking lot. Since the building was somewhat empty, there weren’t many other people who would have seen what was going on before Serrano Gonzalez called her doctor and then 911.
Security camera video outside the salon caught the moments EMTs arrived and helped her.
“The cord … I was still attached to her,” Serrano Gonzalez said.
EMTs carried her and her baby on a stretcher to the hospital.
Baby Zayla is now healthy and happy, spending her days at home with her dad. However, there’s still a problem the family didn’t anticipate.
Because no one was there with Serrano Gonzalez to witness the birth, she’s now having to jump through hoops to get a birth certificate nearly a month after her daughter Zayla was born.
Serrano Gonzalez is sorting through this as she works alongside other entrepreneurs in the salon, always working to keep the business afloat.
“It makes me very upset,” Serrano Gonzalez said.
According to Serrano Gonzalez, she and her family have had to get a written witness statement from the EMT, a doctor’s note verifying her pregnancy, a notarized witness letter from a friend, hospital documents and more. She said they still have no idea when they will be able to get baby Zayla’s birth certificate.
“It’s just one thing after another,” Serrano Gonzalez said.
Thanksgiving is just days away. It’s not lost on Serrano Gonzalez and her family that they have a lot to be thankful for.
“I am thankful that she’s here, and she’s out,” she said.
However, she said next time, she will trust her instincts and hopes sharing her story with other moms will empower them to do the same.
Serrano Gonzalez said she was taken to Ascension Seton Williamson Hospital in Round Rock, Texas, after her daughter was born.
KXAN reached out to the hospital system to ask why it’s taking so long to get the birth certificate but did not immediately hear back.