DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — A Douglas County 911 dispatcher helped a Sedalia couple deliver a child in a bathtub Tuesday morning.
The call came in at 8:34 a.m. Douglas County dispatcher Missy Piche answered. The caller was a panicked Ryan Howell.
“I was very nervous, to be honest, and just scared what could happen,” said Howell.
Howell’s wife, Devinne, was in labor and he knew he didn’t have time to get her to the hospital. She had called him at work to let him know her water had broken. By the time he was able to make the 20-minute drive home, Devinne was in labor and the baby was about to arrive.
“I was like, ‘We’re not going anywhere’,” said Devinne.
Ryan and a family friend got to work doing something they’d never done before: delivering a baby.
“She (Devinne) was at first on the toilet and I say, ‘You got to go to the bathtub because we’re having this baby, and it’s not going to happen on the toilet.’ So I put her in the bathtub,” said Ryan. “There wasn’t really time to think what’s wrong or what’s right. It’s just reaction.”
However, they weren’t alone. Back at dispatch, Piche also sprang into action, walking Ryan through the delivery, step by step. Piche had helped deliver a baby over the phone before.
“It was not my first. The body is an incredible thing. It’s going to do what it wants to do, no matter whether I tell them what to do or what not to do,” Piche said.
Just three minutes after the call began, Nellie Maeve Howell arrived happy and healthy with quite the story to one day tell, about the day her father delivered her in a bathtub with the help of a 911 dispatcher several miles away.
“She definitely has a long story she will hear every year on her birthday,” said Ryan. “We’re very, very thankful the call was not dropped. She was like a weird, ghostly figure. She really walked me through everything I needed to go through. It was incredible, to be honest.”
“I would rather deliver a baby than any other call,” said Piche.