Couple has car ride of lifetime
Childbirth is always a memorable experience, but for Laura and Jeff Bron, the delivery of their first child, Parker, was especially so.
Laura’s water broke about 3:15 a.m. on Dec. 7. Things escalated rapidly for the Thunder Bay couple, however, and Jeff, with the help of an emergency dispatcher, found himself delivering the couple’s child in their car on the side of the highway about two hours later.
Laura says the couple paged their midwife when her water broke, and began following the procedure they were taught.
But things moved much more quickly than expected, she said. The contractions started out far apart and minor, but within 10 minutes, “I was on all fours in our bedroom doing the typical ‘I can’t take this anymore!’” Laura laughed.
By that time, the midwife had called, and could hear Laura in the background, and told Jeff to get her to the hospital immediately.
“He got me going and into the car,” Laura said. “We live out by the tournament centre, on Mountain Road, and by the time we got down to turn onto the highway, by the Can Op, I said to my husband ‘I have a feeling we’re not going to make it to the hospital.’”
Laura told her husband to call an ambulance, just in case. He did, and was still on the phone with the dispatcher. When the couple got to Scotland Street, “I said ‘oh my gosh, this kid is coming right now, you need to pull over.’
“I was still in the passenger seat,” she said. “I don’t know why I didn’t get into the back seat on the way to the hospital. (Jeff) came over to my side . . . and ripped open the door,” she said. “The (baby’s) head was already out.
“The dispatcher said ‘OK, Jeff, take a deep breath. You are delivering this kid right now, and this is what we’re going to do. The dispatcher was amazing, talking Jeff through it.”
The dispatcher went through the process step-by-step. Jeff followed the dispatcher’s detailed instructions, and the couple’s son Parker was born.
“The scary part was that . . . there was no movement, no sound, nothing like that,” Laura Bron said. “Jeff said to the dispatcher . . . ‘there’s nothing coming out from the kid, what do I do?’”
The dispatcher — whose name the Brons have been unable to determine — said that’s normal, and told Jeff to put the baby on Laura’s chest, and rub the baby’s chest.
The dispatcher told Jeff to put his ear to the baby’s mouth. He should be able to hear something.
“It was maybe five seconds, but it definitely seemed like 50 hours to us,” Laura said. “Finally, we heard a little cry.
“That was one of the most amazing feelings.”
The couple then cranked up the heat in the car and waited for the ambulance, which pulled up shortly after.
“They were amazing,” Laura said. “I got put into the ambulance, and I still had the umbilical cord attached. Jeff went and moved the car to the side of the road, and then they called him in and he got to cut the umbilical cord in the back of the ambulance.
“They got us to the hospital and we met our midwives there,” she said. “The paramedics even came back like 10 minutes later with this little stuffed paramedic moose, and said ‘he deserves his first stuffed animal.’”
The couple and their new son Parker — who’s doing “fantastic,” Laura said — were back at home by about 11:30 a.m.
The Bron family has been trying to find out the names of the dispatcher and two paramedics to thank them for their help.
On Friday, Superior North EMS chief Norm Gale said he’d follow up with the couple’s request.