updated 8/14/2008 12:26:04 PM ET 2008-08-14T16:26:04

Alone and in labor, Jessica Higgins found the first place she could to give birth — her front lawn.

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. Splash News
      More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says

The 36-year-old was driving home from the mall Tuesday when little Mary Claire gave her the shock of a lifetime by deciding to arrive six weeks early.

Higgins — with her 2-year-old son sleeping in the back seat — called 911 as she arrived at her Fullerton home, but she had already pushed her daughter out when police arrived.

"She was just standing in the driveway rocking the newborn, who was still attached to the placenta," Officer Manny Ramos said Wednesday.

Higgins' husband, Jeff, arrived in time to cut the baby's umbilical cord under the front-yard ficus tree.

The proud mother, who was recovering at a hospital Wednesday, said "everything happened so fast." She said she had her son's portrait taken at the mall earlier in the day and was on hold with the doctor's office when the baby started pushing.

Mary Claire was born at 5 pounds, 11 ounces and was doing fine at St. Jude Medical Center, Higgins said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments