Off-duty fire captain delivers his own daughter on Edens Expressway at Touhy Avenue

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Dan Lynch, a fire captain with the Evanston Fire Department, delivered his own baby on the outbound Edens Expressway early Friday morning. (WLS)

Dan Lynch, a fire captain with the Evanston Fire Department, delivered his own baby on the outbound Edens Expressway at West Touhy Avenue, the Lincolnwood Fire Department confirmed.

Emergency crews received a call about a woman who went into labor on the side of the road along northbound I-94 around 4:30 a.m. Friday. Lynch said his wife Elizabeth went into labor overnight. The Lynchs, who live in Edison Park, were on their way to Evanston Hospital when they had to stop to deliver the baby.

Elizabeth gave birth to a daughter named Mary Margaret Lynch, the couple's fifth child. Both mom and daughter are doing well.

"We had just gotten on the expressway, and I knew we wouldn't make it," Beth Lynch said.

Beth Lynch says she's had unusual labor with her other kids, so she didn't think twice about her early morning contractions until they got in the minivan.

"The second we got on expressway at Touhy, he pulled over to the shoulder," she said.

"I still thought I could make it, didn't know we waited too long," Dan Lynch said.

Judy Hsu: "But unlike the rest of us who have babies on the expressway, yes, that was me four years ago with baby 'Ike,' Beth never panicked."

Beth's husband is a firefighter-paramedic with the Evanston Fire Department, who comes from a family of firefighters.

"He was super calm, when there's a crisis he gets extra calm," Beth Lynch said.

You might expect that as they pulled over by Touhy on the Edens, that dad had all the emergency supplies ready. Not so much.

"Just a blanket... I didn't pack it, she did. I brought nothing," Dan Lynch said.

But his training did kick in. Keeping Beth calm and saying what husbands are supposed to say, "push."

"We remained pretty calm, worked well together, she pushed a few more times, and that was it," Dan Lynch said.

All of it happened so fast, between getting in the minivan and delivering the baby on the Edens - it took maybe 15 minutes. All in the 4 a.m. hour. By the time they finally made it to Evanston Hospital, baby Mary's siblings, 6-year-old Madeline, 5-year-old Tommy, 3-year-old Hank, and almost-2-year-old Charlie, could not wait to welcome her to the family.

"I'm just happy she's healthy, turned out a good, fun story to tell," Beth Lynch said.

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