‘Rogue’ baby born in family van on Hwy. 38

Rogue Maxa was born in the backseat of the family minivan on Highway 38. (SCREENSHOT: NNC)

Rogue Maxa was born in the backseat of the family minivan on Highway 38. (SCREENSHOT: NNC)

Most babies are born the typical way, popped out in a hospital surrounded by medical personnel. But sometimes, babies quite literally “go rogue.”

Last Saturday, Feb. 13, a Minnesota woman went into labor in the remote northern Itasca County logging town of Bigfork. While Bigfork has a hospital, it does not have an obstetrics unit, so Dexi Maxa and her husband Ben made the 45 minute journey down Highway 38 to the Grand Itasca hospital in Grand Rapids.

Everything was going to plan.

But as the miles ticked by Dexi realized that the situation was becoming urgent. Just four miles from their destination the baby decided now was the time. In the backseat of their Chrysler minivan Ben helped deliver a healthy baby girl amid frigid below-zero temperatures.

The story was reported by Josh Schuder of Northland’s NewsCenter, the news department for the CBS and NBC affiliates in the Duluth, Minnesota, market. If you’re looking for cute baby footage and excitable description from dazed parents, I highly recommend this story.

The best part for me was halfway through the tale when it’s revealed that the dad was born with only one hand. In other words, not only did he deliver his own kid in his own vehicle on the side of the road, but he did so literally single-handedly.

It was 28 below that morning. Grand Itasca officials say this sort of thing is very rare, even though so many moms in the area have to travel long distances to get to a birthing center.

The baby’s name is Rogue. Because this one goes her own way.

“Any time that I envision her, like, not following directions or being in trouble I can just hold it over her head for the rest of her life,” said Rogue’s father Ben Maxa.


  1. I watched the heartfelt story about Ben Maxa and his wife welcoming their little baby into world in their minivan. I did not hear his name the first time but knew there was something I remembered about a little boy who looked like Ben Maxa. In listening to the story a second time I remembered. I was his Kindergarten teacher at the Early Childhood Center at School Dist. 112 in Chaska/Chanhassen. Ben was alway eager to be right up front and lead others. His mother, Deb, was so great to help teachers. It is wonderful to see former students in the news. Congratulations to the Maxa family!

    • Ethel,
      So exciting to see your reply. Yes, Ben was and is an amazing kid. It is so special to see him as a Dad…he has such a big heart of love. Obviously God’s protection was all over the birth…and Rogue is healthy and beautiful. Thanks so much for your kind words. Deb Maxa

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