Baby Isabel Mallery surprised her parents, Adam and Montanna, when she was born en route to the hospital early Tuesday morning, July 22. Shown here with their boys Hunter, 6 and Baden, 5, are Adam, Isabel and Montanna Mallery at their home in Westcock. LEBLANC PHOTO
WESTCOCK, NB - A local couple and their new baby daughter are back in their home near Sackville after experiencing a birth that was certainly out-of-the-ordinary. After a late night trip last Monday evening, Montanna and Adam Mallery were shocked when their baby girl was born in their vehicle before ever reaching the Moncton Hospital.
The couple had been eagerly awaiting the birth of their third child so when labour pains began about two weeks ahead of the expected date, the couple was not concerned.
“This is our third child, so when I started having pains late Monday I figured we had at least a couple hours before the baby came. So we took the boys to my grandmother’s and headed for the hospital. By the time the pains really started coming so I could time them, they were only a couple minutes apart,” Montanna said at the couple’s home on Saturday.
Using his company work van, the pair sped off to the hospital, but things got really serious in a hurry.
“Her water broke a couple miles before we got to the Scoudouc turnoff and by the time we got to the turnoff she said she thought the baby was coming. I was still driving when she said the baby’s head was crowning and I reached over and could feel the baby’s head was right there. She told me to call 911, and I did; then she said the baby was coming right now. I reached over and felt the baby sliding onto the seat so I grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back up so she wouldn’t fall on the floor. Then the 911 girl came on the phone. I was steering with my knee, talking on the phone and holding the baby all at the same time,” Adam said with a grin.
Managing to bring the van to a halt, he talked with the 911 dispatcher.
“I got stopped and pulled the baby up into Montanna’s lap and she cuddled her. The 911 girl told me to find something to tie off the umbilical cord with. I had nothing to tie it off with in the van so I grabbed my shoelace out of my boot, broke a piece off and used that. Then the girl said to get some warm towels to wrap the baby in and I said ‘we’re in a van on the highway, where the hell am I going to get warm towels’, he laughed.
“Then the 911 girl came on the phone. I was steering with my knee, talking on the phone and holding the baby all at the same time.” Adam Mallery
With nothing else close at hand, Adam stripped off his shirt and wrapped it around the baby girl, later finding some baby blankets they had stored in his wife’s hospital suitcase in the back of the van.
With their new daughter snuggled in her mother’s arms, the couple was able to finally breathe a bit easier, but they still had concerns for their baby’s safety.
“I was scared that she wouldn’t be able to breathe, because sometimes they have to suction babies at birth. But she didn’t seem to be having a problem breathing,” Montanna said.
Adam recalled that they were concerned that the baby wasn’t crying.
“That kind of made us nervous; she wasn’t making hardly any sound. She just made this little grunt sound after I grabbed her when she came out, that was all. But she was breathing and looked alright, so we cranked up the heat in the van and waited for the ambulance to get there,” he said.
Paramedics at the scene transferred mother and baby to the ambulance and, with the new dad following behind, delivered the two to the Moncton Hospital. Both mother and child were admitted and checked, with neither of them experiencing any difficulties. They were both released two days later.
And while the time of birth was hectic, the couple say their daughter, Isabel Margaret May, who weighed in at just six pounds and 18 ½ inches in length; is happy and healthy.
“She’s a really good baby; she eats and sleeps and doesn’t cry a lot. And her big brothers Hunter and Baden just love her,” Montanna noted.
And while the couple said a regular hospital birth would have been a lot simpler, the circumstances of her birth will be something they can both tease Isabel about when she’s grown. In the meantime, the Mallery’s are all happily back in their home, enjoying the newest addition to their family.