Woman Gives Birth on Subway Platform, We Shudder

Subway birth
Photo: NYDN


In every place in America where humans live, there are certain unique nightmare scenarios that don’t translate elsewhere. For example, while growing up in Maine, Daily Intel editor Chris lived in constant fear of being forgotten by his parents on top of a mountain, and having to eat bugs and talk to God. That is not a worry that continues to bother him in Stuyvesant Town. Similarly, Jessica grew up in coastal Massachusetts with an abiding fear of undertow. This has passed since she moved to Fort Greene.

Now that we live here in New York, we have a whole new set of nightmare scenarios. And yesterday, we just learned from the Daily News, one woman lived through one of the worst ones. Francine Alfontent, 27, was in labor on the subway, trying to make it to the Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. She didn't. Instead, she gave birth on the subway platform. And it doesn't end there. It was the subway platform of the F train. The East Broadway stop.

The Daily News would have you believe that the insane part of this story came when other straphangers leapt to her aide:

A nurse on her way to work also got off the train and began comforting Francine. A businessman put his briefcase under her head as a pillow. One man ran up to the street to guide paramedics and firemen to Francine. Several others gave up articles of clothing for her to rest on. "At last four trains came into the station and it seemed like people from every one of them stopped to help," said social worker Wendy Brown, 44 from the Bronx who held Francine's hand and reminded her how to breathe. "It was amazing. You can't tell me New Yorkers don't care," said Brown.


That's sweet, yes, and surprising. And because of the help, both mother and daughter are doing fine. But — the most insane part of this story is clearly the above photograph of Francine and her baby girl, Soleil, just after Soleil emerged from the womb. Like, immediately after. We're not even sure if the cords you can see are of the medical or umbilical variety. But in any case, wow.

Straphangers pitch in as Brooklyn woman gives birth on F train platform [NYDN via Gothamist]