A North Okanagan mother welcomed a new baby over the weekend. However, the little girl came so quickly she was delivered at a Vernon home by her grandmother and local firefighters.
Baby Mazikeen made a quick entrance into the world early Saturday morning, three days before she was scheduled to be born by Caesarean section.
“We had gone to the hospital the day before or that day twice… we had been sent home. She wasn’t coming yet. They told us to come back when I was more in labour,” said Mazikeen’s mother Donna-Jean Charron.
“I went to bed and didn’t think much of it, after being sent home twice, and it was just shortly after my water broke.”
Donna-Jean said her mother was trying to get her into a car to go to the hospital but she couldn’t stand up.
“I told my mom, ‘Call 911, the baby’s coming,'” Donna-Jean said.
The baby’s grandmother, Bonnie Charron, started preparing for the birth with the help of an ambulance dispatcher.
“First on the scene were the firefighters,” said Bonnie.
“Mazikeen’s head was out and her arms. I was holding her in tears. It was a very special moment, one I won’t forget.”
The firefighters were stationed at a hall just a few blocks from where the family was staying and arrived quickly to find there was no time to wait for paramedics.
“Obviously the credit goes to the mom. She kept calm, was able to work with us. She had a couple of strangers who she has never met and we were able to work together as kind of a team and delivered a healthy baby,” said firefighter Cody Grier.
“It was a pretty exciting call.”
With the emergency dispatcher still on the line, the firefighters said their training kicked in.
“We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare or to really talk about anything. Basically, my lieutenant and I kind of communicated briefly that we needed equipment and set up and all of a sudden I was holding a baby,” Grier recalled.
There was a wave of emotion for all involved when the baby was delivered safely. Donna-Jean said she felt relieved that she was okay, despite the emergency delivery.
“To be honest I was pretty scared,” she said.
Grandmother Bonnie was grateful.
“We are so blessed. She is a healthy baby girl and we are very happy to have her as an addition to our family,” said Bonnie.
Once the intensity of the birth had passed, the firefighters were able to reflect on the call.
“I don’t think we really realized how exciting it was till after the situation had sort of died down a little bit and we had a healthy baby there with mom,” Grier said.
“We thought this was pretty incredible to be part of this moment. Then shortly thereafter the paramedics showed up and took over patient care.”
Both mother and daughter are doing well and the family is grateful for the support they received in bringing Mazikeen into the world.