DEMOTTE — Tiny Christopher David was born on State Rd. 55, less than a mile north of State Rd. 2 on the side of the highway on Aug. 10. He came into the world a few weeks earlier than expected and first time mom, Andrea David, didn’t realize she’d been in labor until the pain and the need to push led family to call 911.
Andrea David, of Wheatfield, had attended the Lake County Fair in Crown Point, and began to have cramps and some back pain but attributed this to all the walking. She called her mom, Carla David, who told her to go to her uncle’s house in DeMotte because it was closer and she could rest before going out to the the Touch of Dutch Festival, also occurring that Saturday. She didn’t make it to the festival.
Andrea’s older sister was keeping tabs on her and keeping their mother informed of her condition. After cramping badly, the older sister called Carla to tell her Andrea had gotten “all wet” when she went to the bathroom. At that time Carla knew Andrea wasn’t just cramping, she was in labor. She and her husband were visiting at the Lake Holiday Campgrounds and headed out to get their daughter and take her to the hospital.
Shortly afterwards, Carla received a call that Andrea had felt the urge to push. She knew she and her husband wouldn’t be there fast enough and instructed them to call an ambulance. Three medics answered the call, having to leave the festival to get there. Corrie Myers, an experienced paramedic who has three or four deliveries under his belt, Tiera Regan, an EMT and Abigail Figley, a paramedic student, arrived on scene and deduced that Andrea was indeed in labor, but didn’t appear to be ready for imminent birth as yet. They waited for soon-to-be grandma and grandpa to arrive before heading off to the hospital.
Figley, who was helping because of the festival, wanted to tag along because a delivery would be good experience for her. Regan drove the ambulance with Carla riding shotgun while Myers and Figley attended to Andrea.
As the ambulance turned north from SR 2 onto the “9-mile stretch,” heading for Franciscan Heatlh Crown Point, Myers asked Regan to pull over and stop gently because the baby’s head was crowning. When Carla heard this, she said she started to cry. It was a very emotional moment for her, but her daughter seemed to take it in stride. She told the medics, “That was fun, I’d do it again!”
She reiterated the sentiment as she retold the tale, which she’ll probably do for years to come. “It wasn’t bad,” she said.
Regan said she parked the ambulance, got out and ran to the back to jump in and help, but baby Christopher was already born. Myers said they clamped and cut the cord and wrapped the newborn in a blanket, and off they went to resume the trip to the hospital.
Although he was approximately three to four weeks early, Christopher was in good health and didn’t require extra care. He was able to stay in the hospital room with his mom, who chose to breast feed her tiny infant. He weighed in at 6 lbs. 8 oz and was 17 inches long. After about two days in the hospital making sure the two were doing well, they were able to go home to Wheatfield, where the pair live with grandma and grandpa David.
Carla David said as little Christopher was being born, she was on the phone to her husband, who also had the baby’s dad and aunts in the car following the ambulance, explaining why they had pulled to the side of the road. She was able to tell them when he was born, and they couldn’t wait to see him after reaching the hospital.
Meeting mom, Christopher and Grandma Carla at the Keener Twp. EMS building, the three were reunited with Myers and Regan, who presented Andrea with a bag of gifts for the baby. Figley wasn‘t able to make the reunion.
All three medics will receive a blue stork pin, signifying they delivered a baby boy, and the satisfaction in knowing that their training prepared them for just such an event. Myers is the director of the Keener Twp. EMA.
Myers said he was working his second job as a paramedic in E. Chicago, where he delivered another baby that same week, just a few days later.
“You did a good job,” Carla told the crew.
“We were thrilled to be part of it,” Myers replied.