Mother and stranger celebrate unusual delivery this Mother’s Day
What was supposed to be a very routine trip to a south Edmonton store for groceries turned into a day that Crystal Black and Tamala Peters will never forget.
The strangers were brought together by pure coincidence — and perhaps a little bit of fate — for the unusual delivery of Black’s daughter, Cali, on April 2.
They were reunited on Saturday, just in time for Mother’s Day, to formally meet and share the memories of that special day.
Black went into labour while shopping at the Superstore on 51 Avenue, between Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard.
“I had some labour pains but nothing that I hadn’t experienced before so I didn’t think it was going to happen yet,” Black recalled of her shopping trip.
“I had a couple of contractions that were unbearable in the store.”
That’s when she called her husband and headed out of the store to her car, barely making it there.
“My fiance and I heard some screaming,” said Peters, who just happened to be in the parking lot at the same time. “He went to look, and the look in his eyes when he turned to tell me to come quickly, I knew there was something wrong.”
Peters, a former emergency medical technician and no stranger to intense situations, had never found herself in this type of situation before.
“The terror in her eyes, as a mother, I understand it,” Peters said. “We tried to move the chair back and get her comfortable, but literally when we did, that Cali was there!”
“I stood there having no idea what her name was,” Peters said. “I didn’t even know if it was a boy or a girl. I was in shock but so grateful everyone was OK.”
Emergency medical personnel, firefighters and police arrived on the scene within minutes.
Black and her daughter were OK.
“I was terrified, I was scared, I was embarrassed, I was in a public place and all alone — and I was in so much pain that it was out of control,” Black, a mother of five, said. “As soon as she opened my door and I saw that someone was there, I wasn’t so scared anymore. Seeing her hold Cali up and seeing that she was OK, it was such a feeling of relief.”
Peters’ efforts that day were praised by paramedics, who honoured her actions with a stork pin, normally bestowed on paramedics who deliver a baby in the field. It’s the first time the pin has been awarded to a member of the public.
“In this case, Tamala did everything correctly,” said Kaylee Pfeifer with Alberta Health Services’ emergency medical services. “She made sure 911 was activated and then she assisted the patient as best she could.”
Officials say births outside of a hospital happen more often than most people think.
“EMS usually delivers about one to two babies outside the hospital, and it’s a little different in every circumstance,” Pfeifer said. “Sometimes, we’re delivering that baby. Sometimes, there’s a proud or scared dad holding that baby or grandparent and every now and then, like today, there’s a complete stranger.”
“I just want people to know there are still good people out there,” Black said.
WATCH (Nov. 22. 2017): Edmonton in the midst of minor baby boom
—With files from Albert Delitala
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