Baby delivered at L’Enfant Plaza Metro station

August 1, 2013

A woman delivered a baby boy on the platform at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station on Thursday morning.

Shavonnte Taylor, 23, of D.C., gave birth to her son, whom she named Amir Mason, at 10:30 a.m., according to a witness on the scene.

In an interview at George Washington University Hospital on Thursday evening, Taylor said her fourth child was due on Aug. 17. She was actually heading from her home in Southeast to an obstetrician appointment near the Foggy Bottom Metro when she began to experience contractions.

Taylor said that she tried to head from her Green Line train to the platform with Blue and Orange Line trains but that the contractions brought her to her knees.

News of the birth quickly spread across social media, with many Twitter users sharing tongue-in-cheek suggestions for potential baby names including L’Enfant and Pierre.

(#metrobaby: Tweets on the birth at L’Enfant Plaza)

Taylor said she never considered naming her baby L’Enfant. His name is “just something I made up.” She also has two girls, ages 5 and 3, and a 1-year-old boy.

Taylor said she’s going to keep riding Metro. On Thursday night, she said: “I’m fine. The baby’s fine. I’m just tired.”

Transit police first announced the birth on Twitter.

Saa Alpha of Upper Marlboro was one of the station managers on duty at L’Enfant Plaza when the woman gave birth. He said he was near the kiosk at the 7th Street exit and heard someone moaning loudly.

He went down a broken escalator to the mezzanine level and saw a woman leaning over and in pain and another customer with her. “She said, ‘I’m having my baby,’” Alpha said.

Alpha said another Metro customer took the shirt off his back and gave it to a woman with EMT training, who was aiding Taylor. Another passenger gave her hand sanitizer, Alpha said.

Alpha said trains kept coming into the station and that about 10 people, including himself, another station manager, two Metro Transit Police, the EMT and a few customers helped assist the woman.

It all happened within minutes, and the ambulance arrived soon thereafter to transport the woman and her baby, he said. “It just popped out,” Alpha said. “It was just awesome.”

L’Enfant is French for “the child,” making it an oddly fitting place to deliver a baby (as far as Metro stations go, anyway). Adding to that, the baby was born the day before Pierre L’Enfant’s birthday, as Catherine Cooke noted on Twitter.

And while a Metro station platform is certainly an unusual place to deliver a baby, this isn’t the first time something like this has occurred. A year ago, a woman went into labor on the platform at the Congress Heights station (though she was taken to an area hospital and didn’t give birth on the platform). A woman also went into labor on a Red Line train in December.

In case you were wondering: No, it didn’t cost anything for the baby to leave the system. As Lori Aratani points out, children age four or younger can ride free.

The odd news sparked a flurry of entertaining tweets, as odd news (and any news, really) is wont to do.

This post has been updated. Most recent update: 6:20 p.m.

RELATED: At least 8 babies born near D.C. landmarks, including White House 

 

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Mark Berman · July 31, 2013