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Special delivery: Baby born on Interstate 95

Antov Antonov learned the hard way that babies will be born whenever they’re ready — even in the fast lane of the highway.

Antonov was driving his wife to the hospital when she gave the signal she was ready right this minute. So he pulled over on southbound I-95, delivered the baby girl and wrapped her up in the shirt off his back.

Margarita, 8 pounds, 6 ounces, entered the world at 4 a.m. Tuesday in the southbound lanes near Miami Gardens Drive.

“I got delivery from my wife, my baby,” said Antonov, who is from Russia and speaks little English. “It’s a first-time experience,” he said, smiling.

Antonov called 911 and the new family waited for fire-rescue to arrive. Paramedics cut the umbilical cord and took new mom Oxsana Aksenova and little Margarita to Memorial Regional Hospital, where they are doing fine and will stay from two to three days, spokeswoman Christine Senke said.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Eric Baum was impressed with the father’s level-headed thinking, calling for help while taking care of the situation.

“The dad did an outstanding job,” said Baum, who was at the scene. “What was really great was that the dad had enough foresight to use his cellphone to call 911.”

Fire rescue blocked part of the highway with a truck to protect the mom and baby from speeding cars while being checked. Antonov told paramedics that Margarita, the couple’s third child, was born a little blue with the umbilical cord wrapped around her. But when rescue arrived she was “healthy and pink,” Baum said.

“We see traumas and violent events every day, and it’s always great bringing a healthy child into the world,” Baum said. “It’s a happy ending for everybody.”