Sweet 16 and ready to drive

GREEN TWP, Ohio - Oak Hills High School sophomore, Johanna Kearns is not that much different than most of her classmates. She is involved in sports, enjoys shopping and laughs a lot.

What makes her different is not her genetic code, that is a given. Instead, it's the story of her mother's labor and the maternity floor that she was born.

The events started around 11 p.m.

"I went downstairs and woke up my [then] husband," said Johanna's mom, Nancy Kearns. "He had fallen asleep on the couch and I said, 'Hey we're having a baby today. Get up.'"

He was in such a deep sleep that he marched his way to bed and back to sleep. The couple waited until nearly seven hours later to climb into their 1989 Toyota Corolla LE and leave.

"We started down Hamilton Avenue," Nancy explained. "I'm looking at the clock in the car and the contractions are like every 30 seconds."

Nancy said she could not sit in the seat nor stand because of the limits a car gives. So she crouched.

"They're total pushing contractions, at that point he pulled over in a front yard," Nancy said.

There was one more contraction and "[Johanna] came out through my shorts and on the floor," Nancy said.

The car the couple had purchased a few months earlier, had become the delivery room.

"It was a very nice in its day," recalled Nancy. "It had electric windows and doors. I was very excited [to get it], because it was a step up from the car I had been driving."

Nancy still owns that car, now 22 years old. It has more than 188,000 miles, rusting through the body in some places, faded red paint and now a new driver.

"I like this car," Johanna said. "It's like my baby, even though I'm more like its baby."

The car does have quite a few nicknames: "Red Monster," the "Birthmobile" and Nancy's favorite, "The Placenta."

"Which is pretty gross," exclaimed Johanna with squinted nose and eyes as she laughed uncomfortably.

Johanna will drive the car on Friday when she takes it to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles to perform her drivers test. If she passes, she will get a friend and head straight for the mall, she said.

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