It was 1:19 p.m. Nov. 30, and Danielle Goehner lay on her bedroom floor, wracked with pain.
The mother-to-be reached out and clutched the bottom of a dresser and edge of the bedroom door.
"I felt like I had to push and I didn't want to," she said. "Every instinct in my body tells me to push. So I was holding on, trying to put my energy into something else other than pushing."
Danielle was 38 weeks pregnant while her husband, Scott Goehner, was at the veterinarian, picking up medicine for their dog.
"I put down what I had, walked out to the car, jumped in the car and took off," he said.
He sped home, rushed into his Elm Grove house and found his wife, the love of his life, on the floor, about to give birth.
'We got to go'
"I walk in, see her there and figure we got to go," he said.
In 48 minutes, what began as an ordinary day turned it a surreal event. Danielle, 30, began Friday, Nov. 30, like any other day off. She had a list of chores and tasks to complete and a few loose ends to tie up for work before her maternity leave began.
"It was a totally normal morning," she said.
Contractions arrived the day before and woke her up during the night, but were gone by the morning.
"I started getting really tired, so I figured I would take a nap," she said. "The contractions started picking up … but they were a little more intense. I need to breathe a little more with these."
She took a shower and then brushed her teeth.
"I was still on a mission to have this be normal," she said.
Her husband was across town in a morning class at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He skipped his afternoon class, opting to work on a project and pick up medication for their beagle, Maggie.
"Between like 1 and 1:19 p.m. all of a sudden the contractions … are like I really have to breathe and by 1:19 I was down on the floor. All of a sudden, they kicked in to high gear."
'Keep Going, Keep Going'
Scott and Danielle were stuck at a red light, waiting in their blue-gray 2003 Honda Accord to turn left onto Moorland Road.
"As we turn … her water broke," he said. "She says 'Call 911.'"
The dispatcher told Scott to stop driving.
"I am yelling at him to keep going, keep going," she said. "I thought I still have this under control. We can still get there."
Scott pulled into the parking lot between the Sheraton and Sears on the east side of Brookfield Square parking lot.
"The dispatcher tells me to get her to somewhere flat," he said. "I laid two shower bath towels on the ground."
Danielle gives in to nature. She lies on the towels and pushes. And then pushes again.
"She's coming, she's coming"
"All I keep saying is she's coming, she's coming, she's coming," she said. "With my butt facing Moorland Road…I was on a mission to get baby out."
Five paramedics arrived.
"I can't imagine it was more than a minute from when they got there," he said. "It just happened really fast."
At 1:48 p.m. on a cool, damp Friday afternoon, under a overcast sky, on the cold cement ground of a bustling mall parking lot weeks before Christmas, Eliana Jones Goehner was born.
They cut the cord. The baby cried.
The healthy baby girl was 5 pounds, 7 ounces and 19 inches long. She was early by 13 days.
"The next afternoon … it hit me how terribly things could have gone and what a blessing that it all worked out," Danielle said.