The first days of a newborn baby's life usually involve diligent care from nurses. Normally, mother and baby are surrounded by friends and loved ones, all celebrating new life. But for Amber Pangborn's baby Marisa, life started in a way that was anything but normal.  

In the summer of 2015,  35-year-old Amber climbed into her car one evening to drive to her parents' house. On the way, the very pregnant young woman began to experience contractions.  

YouTube/Alive Long

As the pain started to get stronger, Amber decided to take a shorter route to her parents' place through the Plumas National Forest in California.


As her contractions got worse, Amber lost her way, eventually finding herself stranded on an unfamiliar road deep within the forest.  

Then it happened: Amber had no choice but to lie on the back seat of her car and give birth to her daughter, Marisa.  

With no cell phone service or gas in her car, the young mother survived for three days on apples, water, and soda. And if that was not difficult enough, she also had to fight off mosquitos and bees that, attracted to the placenta, showed up in swarms. Amber started to panic.


Using hairspray and a lighter, Amber decided to start a signal fire in a desperate attempt to attract attention. However, the flames spread more quickly than Amber had imagined. ''Like, the whole side of the mountain caught on fire,'' she said. '' I was looking at Marisa and was like, ‘I think Mommy just started a forest fire.' ''


In the end, Amber's tactic worked. U.S. Forest Service officials received report of the fire, and a fire engine and helicopter were sent to the area. Amber and her daughter were evacuated, and taken to UC Davis Medical Center, where baby Marisa was treated and is now in good condition.