A Dublin lawyer’s wife gave birth to a healthy baby girl right in the middle of Third Avenue in Manhattan with help from the public and one woman in particular who will never be forgotten.
On Monday afternoon, Polly McCourt (39), originally from Oxfordshire, England had her doorman hail a cab near her home on East 68th Street and Third Avenue. She had gone into labor and was en route to Lennox Hill Hospital, without her husband, under advice from her doctors.
Her husband Cian McCourt (40), originally from Dublin and now a partner with A&L Goodbody, was stuck in traffic in the Lincoln Tunnel.
Polly said she knew she was not going to make it and told her doorman, Anton Rudovic, she had to sit down. The baby was crowning. Already the mother of two children, Conor and Adele, Polly said their baby girl gave her about 30 minutes warning, in total. She was ready to arrive.
Immediately, people close by came to McCourt’s rescue propping her up on the sidewalk and using their coats, sweaters and scarves to keep her warm on the cold February afternoon. Luckily a young doctor passing by was also on the scene.
An ambulance arrived within minutes but baby Ila had already arrived.
When Cian arrived on the scene he was shocked.
He told the Daily Mail, “I saw the crowd and I feared the worst, that she had been knocked down or something - it was really emotional.
“Then I saw the baby already in her arms. She was covered in scarves, shirts and coats, the people who helped were great.”
Speaking to the New York Post he said, “It was a crazy experience.
“My wife was really calm very together…She’s a strong woman.”
The couple thanked the New Yorkers who stopped to give a helping hand and thanked one woman in particular by naming the baby after her. Ila’s middle name is Isabelle after a good Samaritan who gave Polly McCourt her coat.
“She was meant to be Ila Polly... but now she's Ila Isabelle. We're very happy with it,” Polly said.
Cian and Polly are eager to track down Isabelle, who left her gray coat at the scene.
Polly said “She had to go home without a coat on…She gave my husband her phone number and he lost it in the commotion.”
Cian added, “I’m overjoyed for the birth of my little girl. It’s been quite emotional.”
The couple’s doorman took the amazing event in his stride, saying he was just doing his job and added the most important thing was that the mother and baby were doing well.
He said “Everything seemed normal, and then out of nowhere she screamed, ‘Stop, stop!’”
“I asked her what was wrong. She said, ‘I’m having the baby! I’m having the baby right now! It happened so quickly, just like 1,2,3!”
Neighbor and witnesses said it was a strange and surreal experience.
Rubovic added, “Having a baby in a hospital is a miracle. I don’t know what to call it when you have a baby in the street. It’s incredible.”
Ila Isabelle McCourt, who has been dubbed the “Miracle on Third Avenue” and weighed in at 7lbs, and her mother are doing well in the hospital, according to a family member.
Here Polly and Cian McCourt share their story with New York Daily News: