Before she could hold her baby girl, Tanja Rose held her breath and pulled off something doctors say had never been done before - deliver a baby with a broken neck.
"It's funny, as we started looking around and looking on the internet, we realized we've never heard of this before in the whole United States that this has ever happened," Tanja said.
Tanja broke her neck in a car accident just before Christmas. She was seven months pregnant when a halo had to be bolted into her head.
"There are two screws that go into the skull in the back and it holds the bones absolutely still," Tanja said.
Remaining perfectly still during contractions makes for a tricky delivery.
"I had no choice, she was coming," she said.
Tanja delivered her first daughter naturally, with no drugs. But after careful consideration and a few tears, doctors determined an epidural was her best bet this time around, because her baby was breach.
"Actually she is going to be able to push from a medical point of view. There is no contra-indication to her using force," Dr. Laurie Greenberg of Scripps Memorial Hospital said. "We just really wanted to avoid the C-section, because of the recovery afterwards."
Tanja still can't decide which is worse, not showering for the past seven weeks or being unable to look her newborn baby in the eye.
"I can't really see her that well. It's kind of funny, after she came out they had to hold her way up high for me because this is about where my vision is," she said.
Take our word for it, she's beautiful, and at 7 pounds, 5 ounces, she just happens to weigh the same as the heavenly-looking halo mounted on top of her mom.
"It must have been a very funny sight, in the middle of the night my husband is holding on leg and the nurse is holding the other and I'm lying there in a halo, pushing," Tanja said.
As for Tanja's broken neck, she's headed toward a full recovery. The halo comes off in the next three to five weeks.
In Monday’s Daily Dose, we’ve got a tour around San Diego your belly will thank you for. San Diego Restaurant Week allows you to explore your favorite areas and score great deals on food along the way.
It all began in 2002, back when the Rams were in St. Louis and the Patriots were a plucky underdog standing in the way of a potential dynasty.
A San Marcos man is planning to run seven marathons in seven consecutive days on seven continents – and he is doing it all with type one diabetes.
Each week, the News 8 Crimefighters help authorities in looking for fugitives in San Diego. This week’s fugitive is: Michael Borja
Big acts of kindness can come from small places. In Thursday's Zevely Zone, Jeff is in Rancho Bernardo to meet one amazing kid - 4-year-old Akshaya who won an award for her kindness!
San Diego has always had an active music scene with several big-name artists making their start right here in America’s Finest City. From our News 8 archives, check out these clips of San Diego bands from the 1980s and ‘90s.
It takes something special to clean up in the car wash business. In Tuesday’s Zevely Zone, Jeff visits Chula Vista to see first-hand what “big things” are happening at Soapy Joe’s.
People who live in Point Loma are fed up over a ramp that was designed to solve accessibility problems, saying it actually created another issue.