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Van Jefferson’s wife shares new details on birth experience during Super Bowl

Samaria Jefferson went into labor while the Los Angeles Rams wide receiver was playing in the Super Bowl.
/ Source: TODAY

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver may have won the Super Bowl, but his wife, Samaria, is the real champion. The 23-year-old gave birth while her husband was winning the big game — and even named their son Champ.

“I did not want to miss the game for anything,” Samaria told People in a new interview. 

But shortly after arriving at SoFi stadium, she began experiencing excruciating contractions. By halftime, Samaria knew it was time to get to the hospital. 

“I was like, ‘I can’t take it anymore.’ I’m barely able to talk at this point,” she revealed. Unbeknownst to Van, Samaria was rushed out on a stretcher and transported to a local hospital. But Samaria declined to be admitted and took an Uber to her birthing center.

Samaria said she started “bawling” when her water broke shortly after her arrival. That's when it really hit that Van likely wouldn't be in the delivery room with her.

“I was like, ‘I don’t want to do this without Van,’” she recalled. 

Van was only informed that Samaria was giving birth after the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20. Samaria knew he would leave the field if he found out the baby was coming, and she wanted him to keep playing. 

“I was like, ‘Are you serious right now?’ We hauled tail,” Van said. “In the car, I’m going, ‘You need to push this car a little faster, we need to get there.”

They didn’t make it on time — blame Los Angeles traffic — but Van watched the moment unfold on FaceTime. 

“It was an amazing feeling,” he gushed. “Winning the Super Bowl and then being able to see [my] newborn was such a special moment for me.”

Champ is Van’s third child. The athlete shares 5-year-old daughter, Bella, 5, with Samaria, and is dad to 4-year-old son, Vanchi. 

Van and Samaria, who are high school sweethearts, introduced their newborn to the world on TODAY last week. 

During his TODAY appearance, Van praised Samaria for her selflessness.

“She’s a champ,” he declared “She didn’t want to tell me. She wanted me to be focused on the game. I appreciate her doing that. I think if she had told me, I probably would’ve been freaking out.”