GREENSBORO, N.C.– Natasha Whitaker is happy to be healthy and home with her new baby girl after a dramatic labor and delivery Monday.
When she started having contractions on Monday morning, Natasha and her husband Dexter tried not panic.
“I asked her you want to go to the hospital? She said no, let’s wait an hour… She was trying to go by the textbook!” said Dexter.
Natasha’s first baby, her son Amari, was born three years ago after 22 hours of labor; she was in no hurry to sit around High Point Regional all day where she planned to deliver.
But, after just a few minutes, Natasha realized they needed to head for the hospital as soon as possible.
“But by the time we got down the road, I could feel the baby coming,” said Natasha. “I didn’t care where I had her, I just wanted her out!”
Dexter kicked into ‘dad’ mode.
“I knew the fire department was around the corner and said that’s probably the best bet we have. I pulled over, blowing the horn, ringing the door bell asking for help.”
“He went in yelling, ‘My wife’s in labor!'” laughed Natasha, remembering her husband’s frantic screams. “He did just the right thing thinking to go there.”
At the City of Greensboro Fire Station 57, Firefighter/EMT Todd Rich was taking out the trash when he heard Dexter yelling.
Rich explained, “I went to the phone and called everyone in the station on the PA and said we’ve got an emergency in the front parking lot.”
The firefighters ran out immediately; some were in the shower, others were preparing for shift change. They had only seconds to prepare for the baby.
“Everybody was very professional, throwing all the stuff at me, getting prepared for the obvious. I didn’t really start breathing until I heard that baby start crying,” admitted Rich.
It all happened in two minutes and two pushes, said the Whitakers.
An EMS worker was also on hand to help with the delivery. Natasha was taken to the hospital in an ambulance afterward.
Natasha is doing well, as is baby Adrianna. “It was shocking! I couldn’t believe I was the one to have her in my car… the front seat of my car!”
Adrianna is a perfectly healthy 6 lbs. 8 oz.
She was born on her due date, Monday, the day before Firefighter Todd Rich’s own birthday today.
“It was incredible. Those guys were incredible,” said Natasha, thanking the firefighters.
“I really appreciate them for helping us out,” added Dexter.
Rich, a father of three, has only delivered one other baby in his career. “But this was a first time for me. In a car anyway!”
Natasha’s advice to other pregnant women? “Once those contractions start, don’t play around. Don’t wait!”