A San Diego woman who gave birth at Petco Park Thursday night said her labor and delivery progressed so quickly, she didn’t even make it to her seat before she realized she was having her baby boy right then and there.
Jaime Stiles gave birth to 6-pound, 14-ounce Levi at the ballpark around the third inning of the San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants game.
Cradling her perfectly healthy, sleeping newborn in her arms at the hospital Friday, Jaime recounted the incredible, unexpected birth story that was a huge hit with fans all over San Diego.
Jaime said she began having contractions earlier in the afternoon, but decided to go to the Padres games with her mother, Estelle Stiles, as a “distraction” to “see if things could move along.”
And, boy, did they ever.
They got in the car, drove downtown and bought tickets to the game. As she and her mother walked into the ballpark, Jaime's contractions got a bit more intense.
“[I thought] ‘Okay, it’s kind of getting a little bit stronger,” she explained. “Honestly, we didn’t even make it to our seats.”
Jaime and her mother decided to turn around and head back to the car so they could drive to the hospital. As they rode in a packed elevator – stopping at nearly every floor – Jaime realized they weren’t going to make it to the hospital.
“All of the sudden, it was go time,” she recounted. “It was just starting to come so fast.”
As they reached the ground floor, Jaime walked over to a bench at the park’s Palm Plaza. Security guards called for help and an on-call nurse who is a midwife came over to assist.
“[I thought], ‘I’m going to have this baby, like, right now,’” Jaime said. “This is the thing that happens in the news – this is not what happens to me!”
Soon medics arrived and put Jaime on a gurney.
Her water broke, she had one more contraction, and moments later, Levi was born.
“It happened so fast I didn’t really have time to think about it. It was seriously from zero to 60 in like 30 minutes,” she said. “I was in total shock. It was the craziest thing that I could’ve ever imagined. There it was, me having a baby at Petco Park.”
“It was fast. He was crying – he was pink and perfect,” she continued. “Everybody was cheering. It was really kind of funny. It was an out-out-body, very surreal experience.”
Jaime said only one hour had passed from the time they parked their car downtown to the time she gave birth – a much different experience than when she gave birth to her first son, Grayson, a few years ago.
With Grayson, Jaime said the process was lengthy, so she thought Levi’s birth would be similar.
“It was just so crazy and unexpected. I thought I was going to be in labor for days like I was the first time and that there was no way this baby was going to be born at Petco,” she explained.
The mother said Levi was originally due Sept. 25 – so he was almost spot-on with his due date.
She said she’s looking forward to one day sharing the amazing birth story with her 20.5-inch bundle of joy.
“The whole thing was really cool. “I can’t complain about anything. It’s awesome,” she said with a smile.
Jaime said her quiet, content baby boy is doing well – nursing, sleeping and doing everything a healthy newborn should be doing.
“He’s very, very happy,” she said.
Her husband, Steven, joined her and the baby at the hospital soon after the birth. Levi was born so quickly, Steven had no time to get there to witness the birth himself.
“It was supposed to be a ladies’ night, but I guess guys always run ladies’ night,” he joked.
He said becoming Levi’s dad is really an indescribable feeling and loves his epic birth story.
“It’s one of my favorite sports, so it’s fitting that my son was born at a ballpark,” he added.
Jaime said her birth plan for Levi had long been to “just go with it,” but she didn’t exactly have this in mind.
“I was just going to take it one step at a time,” she said. “It’s a good thing I went into it flexible.”
Jaime’s mother, Estelle, said witnesses the birth of her fifth grandson at the ballpark was unforgettable.
“I thought she was overreacting at first,” Estelle said. “I was very surprised – I didn’t ever dream that would happen.”
Estelle said a security guard at the ballpark offered to help snap some photos of the occasion while she helped Jaime. The proud grandmother even got to cut the cord.
“It was really, really special,” Estelle said, beaming. “To watch your daughter give birth is about the hardest thing you can do. You’re right there with them, doing it. It’s a blessing – to watch your daughter give birth.”
The family is grateful for the support from fans, Petco Park and the Padres.
The team sent a basket filled with goodies to their hospital room Friday, including a teeny, tiny Padres jersey with Levi’s name on the back. The family even got a special visit from the Padres mascot, the Friar.
The family has big hopes for Levi’s future and joked that he has no choice but to play T-Ball in a few years.
“I think he’s going to be a baseball player!” Jaime said.
The ballpark birth was the talk of the night among fans at the game – especially after the news was announced over the loudspeaker.
The stands erupted with cheers, all in honor of San Diego’s newest little Padre.