“Amari means miracle in Hebrew,” Abiey, 33, told TODAY Parents. “And that’s what she is.”
Amari's team of doctors agree.
Helen, who wasn’t due until May 30, gave birth to Amari in the backseat of her car on the way to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. The baby weighed 1 pound, 11 ounces, and wasn't crying.
Helen had no reason to think she would go into labor early. Her other two children were full-term at 42 weeks and 41 weeks, respectively. So when Helen began experiencing contractions, she figured they were just Braxton Hicks, which are false labor pains.
But when it became clear, that Helen’s contractions were the real deal, she and Abiey began their journey to the hospital.
“The roads were really slippery — I was terrified we were going to crash,” Helen recalled, noting that many streets were closed.
Abiey called 911 in hopes than an ambulance could meet them — but he was placed on a hold. Abiey kept driving.
Moments later, Amari made her debut on Texas State Highway 75.
“I remember pushing... but it happened so fast,” Helen said. “I was in total shock.”
Abiey cranked up the heat — it was just 10 degrees outside — and Helen began doing skin-to-skin with their newborn.
“I was worried we were going to lose her. She was so tiny. I didn’t think she was going to make it,” Helen revealed. “That was terrifying."
When the couple finally made it to Baylor University Medical Center, they were met by the hospital’s Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) team.
Both Helen and Abiey breathed a deep sigh of relief knowing their little one would receive the best medical care.
Amari is feeding well and can now breathe on her own. She currently weighs more than 2 pounds and is expected to join her siblings at home in May.
“She’s doing really good right now, but the doctors told us to be prepared for two steps forward, one step back,’” Helen explained. “We’re hopeful, but we don’t know what could happen tomorrow.”
Abiey says has never been more in love with his wife.
“She is the strongest woman that I’ve ever known. What she did is absolutely amazing,” he gushed. “The way she managed to stay calm — she’s a rock star.”
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: