Family tie renewed after bartender helps granny deliver baby in N.B. hotel lobby

Melitta Storey and her baby Abigail Grace Storey are shown in a Fredericton hospital in a handout photo. A New Brunswick bartender's role in a tiny girl's sudden birth during a snowstorm has helped rekindle some lost family ties. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Angela urquhart MANDATORY CREDIT. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Angela urquhart

A New Brunswick bartender’s role in a tiny girl’s sudden birth during a snowstorm has helped rekindle some lost family ties.

Monica Storey says just after her shift ended at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday night she heard noises in the front lobby, followed by the sudden cries of a mother in labour and then of a newborn girl emerging in the doorway.

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The 27-year-old rushed to the area with a male staff member and soon she was fetching blankets and assisting.

Storey called paramedics and received instructions on tying the umbilical cord with a piece of gauze taken from the hotel first aid kit.

Mother Melitta Storey and grandmother Angela Urquhart said during an interview at a Fredericton hospital that the infant girl, Abigail Grace Storey, is in good health after her birth at the Radisson Kingswood Hotel and Suites in Hanwell, N.B.

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At the time of birth, neither the mother nor the bartender were aware of the connection, but they discovered later they share a last name.

Monica’s great-grandfather was the brother of Melitta’s great-grandfather

The hotel employee says she came away from the experience both amazed at the capacity of women to cope with rapid labour and childbirth, and a sense that each day may provide an astonishing surprise.

“It’s kind of a serendipitous thing that threw us all together,” said Monica.

“You never know what’s going to happen when you wake up in the morning. … It was good to be there.”

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The grandmother said she expects she’ll stay in touch with Monica Storey, and the story will become part of extended family lore.

“I think the connection will last,” she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 29, 2020.

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