The couple named the baby Axel, who was born outside the family car.By Pam Surano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A North Hills family welcomed a new baby into the world in the most unexpected way.

We’ve seen a lot of grandparents with new responsibilities, especially during the pandemic, but a Hampton Township grandmother went above and beyond.

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“Everyone was a little panicked,” said Ashley Downing.

That’s how Downing described the scene in her driveway on Monday. Downing, her husband, Kenny, and two young sons thought they’d pack hospital bags just in case even though a doctor’s checkup earlier that day showed Ashely Downing wasn’t ready to deliver.

But her contractions started once she got home from the appointment, and it quickly became time to call grandma over to watch the boys.

“When my mom got there, I kept saying, ‘I feel like I need to push. I feel his head,'” Ashley Downing said.

When grandma Shelly Bridge arrived, the couple was already scrambling to the car.

“My mom was trying to get me in the car and I was pushing back, ‘I can’t get in, I have to push,’” Ashley Downing said.

There was only time for one thing: Bridge to help deliver her third grandson.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“It was such an adrenaline rush and such pure joy,” Bridge said.

Kenny Downing was busy, too, getting towels and calling the paramedics.

“We’ve seen it twice already,” he said. “But actually having to do it, we really didn’t know what to do.”

Once the baby got to the hospital, it was time to give their healthy son a name.

“I was googling unique names, meaning survivor or wild one or free one,” Ashely Downing said.

The couple said it was only by chance that they choose the name Axel for their third son, who was born outside the family car.

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The Downings want to thank the Hampton Township EMS workers who walked them through the steps over the phone to help deliver baby Axel.