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Michigan Couple Surprised by Baby's Birth, Call 911

The most entertaining twelve minutes and twenty-three seconds of your day are in the audio file linked in this article.

Couple unaware of pregnancy gives birth at home with help of rookie 911 dispatcher



Ryan called 911 because his wife, Carri, had just given birth in the bathroom.  Dispatcher Angie Adams had just finished her training three days prior to the call from Ryan.

Ryan reacts with shock, expressing joy that his new son looks just like him.  He told Adams that they had both quit smoking and he thought that was why she had gained some weight.  Neither parent knew that Carri was pregnant prior to the birth.

Their ten-year-old son, Tyler, gets on the phone toward the end of the audio segment and is very matter-of-fact about the event.

The dispatcher had the couple get a string or a shoelace to tie off the cord about four minutes into the call and instructed Carri to lie down.  She also asked the family to fetch towels for the baby and for the placenta, which delivered spontaneously within minutes, and a blanket for the new mother.

At the very end of the call, you hear the following exchange:


Dispatcher: Okay, what’s going on with baby?  Is he dirty?

Carri: It looks like he has meconium on his head.

Dispatcher: A cone on his head?!

Carri:  No, like, the baby— the poop.

Dispatcher: Oh, poop.  Okay.


It would be great if dispatchers were instructed to have women put their newborn to their breast as soon as possible as a precautionary measure to allow the natural release of oxytocin, which helps the uterus contract and reduces the risk of postpartum hemorrhage.


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Reader Comments (8)

Yet another unassisted birth that miraculously turned out fine. And was assisted by a dispatcher and a 10 year old. Why again are women paying highly trained surgeons to attend their births?

April 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Jones

It's absolutely, positively fantastic to have a surgeon and anesthesiologist waiting to swoop in and perform a crach c/s for rare complications. Unfortunately, a woman can be IN the hospital and not have the experts needed at the drop of a hat. But that's why a healthy woman would go to a hospital for birth, right? Because someone will be there instantly if something goes wrong.

Not always the case, sadly.

I agree, Emily. It's remarkable how many UC "miracles" there seem to be.

Come to think of it, they're probably not really paying their OBs. For many who would like to give birth somewhere besides the hospital, they feel stuck because insurance won't cover anything else, you know?

April 19, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

Is the baby dirty? Er?

It's amazing when reading things like this how very far we've come, and I'm not sure that this is a good thing. We should know how to birth, we should know birth, we shouldn't be that confused. :/

I have to say - and I know it's always in a superior tone even though I don't mean it to be - I do.not.get how women like this don't know they're pregnant. I don't think they're lying, it's just so odd to me. I think I just have freaking insane babies. It reminds me of telling my husband that my belly would get really weird towards the end, as body parts would occasionally appear during a kick or something. The first time he saw an elbow poking out of my belly...I thought he was going to stroke out. :)

April 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTara

I remain equally baffled at how someone could not know they were pregnant. Totally baffled. I could see not *showing* right away if maybe you had a few extra pounds, but...

April 19, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

Umm...what about a period? I can believe that movement could be mistaken for strong gas, but generally, when you're pregnant, there's no more monthly friend.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnon



Wasn't even thinking about that.


April 20, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

I don't know why, but I was more taken aback by the business about the shoelace than I was the unexpected, unassisted birth! Who wrote that 911 operators manual? The operator doesn't respond when the dad says "there's blood all over the place" (maybe she could have explored that and made sure the mom wasn't hemorrhaging) and goes on and on about how someone has to tie the cord off right away with any old dirty shoelace? Cord clamping is one of those interventions that is so ubiquitous and "normal" that people think the baby isn't safely "delivered" until it is separated from its placenta. Note to EMTs - the cord can wait, and please use something clean!

Quite an story, I agree.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Romano

I was waiting for someone to comment on the shoelace. Talk about unnecessary interventions you can perform on yourself at home!

I think one of the parents qualified the "blood everywhere" line with something like "it's about the same as her (or my) other births." I'll have to go listen again. I guess that wouldn't mean anything unless you're like some of us that might actually have made a mental note of approx how many cc's we bled. I didn't, but I'm sure some do!

April 20, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill
This blog is all done!
Thanks for wanting to comment. This is an archive of a blog that once was. Take care! Jill