One push of Tina Runnels' abdomen brought a wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles into the world: A healthy 21/2-pound baby boy.
The birth early this morning is all the more remarkable, considering she had the baby in a vehicle and that Runnels had already had a miscarriage and almost miscarried this baby.
"I'm just blessed that he has made it, it is a complete miracle from God," Runnels said this morning from her hospital bed at Fisher-Titus Medical Center.
The process began sometime after midnight, when Runnels and her husband, Matthew, dropped off their 2-year-old at a relative's home. Just as their pickup turned onto Ohio 99, Runnels knew it was time.
"I said 'Honey, I think we need to call the ambulance because my water just broke,'" she recalled. "He said 'No, hold it.' I was like I can't."
"I gotta push," Runnels recalled she then screamed.
He told her to hold back.
"I can't," the mother in labor exclaimed.
They pulled into the gas station.
"I'm think 'I've already had the baby, let them know the baby is already here,'"
Runnels, who just moved to Norwalk from Oklahoma, said she had pushed only once, and felt a burning sensation as Leon Runnels made his grand entrance on Ohio 99.
Matthew Runnels called the police from the gas station, and Monroeville Police Capt. James Bond responded.
At first, he didn't see the baby. Tina Runnels told him he was in her jeans and she could feel him moving around.
Bond called North Central EMS, and dispatchers rushed mother and baby to Fisher-Titus.
Although Leon Runnels arrived 15 weeks early and weighed less than three pounds, his mother said all tests came back normal. Doctors, she said, have claimed God was with him.
"God has held his hand on that baby," Runnels said, as though confirming their belief.
The baby was transferred to a Toledo hospital and mom says he is doing well.