Local dad delivers baby at home

Tribune-Post Staff
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The Morton family welcomed a healthy baby girl into their home on April 11, thanks to dad Justin, far right, and 'auntie' Rachel, left, who stepped into action to deliver the baby on their own when mom Stephanie's labour quickly intensified. The family, including their older daughter Navaeh, is pictured above with their new bundle of joy. TOWER PHOTO

COBURG, N.B. – The Morton family has given new meaning to the term ‘home delivery.’

Justin Morton and Stephanie Smart-Morton recently welcomed their second child Everly to the world – by delivering her themselves at their home in Coburg before paramedics even had a chance to get there.

“I didn’t have time to think, I just reacted,” said Justin in describing the quick delivery of his new daughter in the early morning hours of April 11. “Everything was just so fast.”

His wife Stephanie had woken up just before 2:30 a.m. that night, not because of contractions or labour pains but because her other daughter, two-and-a-half-year-old Navaeh, had just had a bad dream and wanted to climb in bed with her mom and dad.

Knowing she wouldn’t get much sleep with a two-year-old in her bed, Stephanie went downstairs to sleep on the couch. Sleep wasn’t in the cards, however, for Stephanie.

As she laid down, she began feeling cramps. Within five minutes of that, the contractions started.

As she called up to her husband that it was probably time to head to the hospital in Moncton, Stephanie said she still wasn’t too concerned or in any rush though, as she had been having contractions on and off for a couple of weeks. The doctor had also informed her that she had been several centimetres dilated leading up to her due date (April 15), but she didn’t need to go to the hospital until she was at least five centimetres. She was simply told to do some walking to help induce the baby’s arrival.

“There were all these signs and nothing was really happening,” she said. “So I thought maybe this was just like all those other times.”

They called up “Auntie” Rachel (Harpell), her brother’s fiance who lives up the street, and she showed up within a few minutes to take care of Nevaeh while they prepared to head to the hospital.

But the contractions were very quickly getting closer and closer together and, within 10 minutes, they were only about a minute apart.

“They were coming really fast and really strong,” she said.

The next phone call they made was for an ambulance. As they awaited the paramedics, Stephanie decided that she should go to the washroom before the long drive to Moncton. As she sat down on the toilet following another contraction, she reached down and felt the baby crowning.

That’s when panic began to set in and she became paralyzed with fear and couldn’t move. Another huge contraction came, Stephanie’s water broke and the baby’s head started to appear. She didn’t know what to do.

That’s when Justin and Rachel took action. After calling 911, they laid a blanket down on the floor and were able to get Stephanie to move from the washroom into the living room area.

Three minutes later, the baby was born.

Rachel said the 911 operator had been trying to give medical instructions over the phone but everything happened so quickly, there was no time to heed the advice.

“She was trying to tell me the steps but she (Stephanie) was already ahead of the steps,” said Rachel.

Stephanie said she doesn’t remember a lot about those moments but she does recall Justin telling her to push because the baby’s face was turning purple.

One push later, the baby was out with Rachel there to grab her as she arrived. Justin then took her in his arms. He gave the baby several taps on the butt and started rubbing her back to get her to breathe. It worked. Everly proceeded to spit up some mucous and then let out a cry.

Then they blanketed her with a towel and found a hat to put on her to keep her warm until the ambulance arrived. To tie up the umbilical cord, they used balloon ribbon, the only string they had in the house at the time.

“We did the best we could,” said Stephanie.

The ambulance arrived about 20 minutes later.

Now, safe and healthy at home a week-and-a-half later, mom and baby are doing just fine but will have quite a story to tell when family and friends come to visit.

“They were so brave,” said Stephanie of her husband and soon-to-be sister-in-law. “If they hadn’t been there and done what they did, who knows what could have happened?”

“It was an experience, that’s for sure,” said Rachel.

Organizations: Harpell

Geographic location: COBURG, Moncton

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Recent comments

  • Adele
    April 24, 2014 - 14:38

    ma cousine

  • Sally
    April 24, 2014 - 11:53

    What if the baby had been born in the car on the way to Moncton? It's concerning to me that we don't have baby delivery in Sackville.

  • Reine Cormier (Jocelyn Cormier's Mother)
    April 24, 2014 - 11:45

    Congratulations to the Morton Family! Quite a powerful experience! So glad things went well. Nature is quite strong at such a time...

  • charlene
    April 24, 2014 - 07:43

    Way to go guys! Job very well done.