“We’d barely pulled in when my water broke” says Audra. “We were a few days out from my due date, but our baby had other plans.”
Audra was in the passenger seat when they pulled up near the entrance at the Women’s Center. When Ian opened the door to help her out of the van, it was already too late.
“I asked him to hurry up and get some help,” Audra says. “I couldn’t move at that point. She was already coming.”
The next thing Audra knew, a doctor was calmly standing next to her catching baby Lillian as she was born. Barrett Labrum, DO, happened to be walking by on his way into the hospital and heard the cries for help. Dr. Labrum, an affiliated pediatrician who works at Primary Care Pediatrics, says he was happy to help — and it’s a good thing he was there.
Dr. Labrum put Lillian on Audra’s chest and she let out a small cry, but then she stopped breathing. He performed positive pressure ventilation via mouth-to-mouth on the baby as they waited for help to arrive.
A few minutes later Lillian was still struggling to breathe, but more help was on the way. Laura McGregor, RN, from the special care nursery, was running down the stairs with supplies. “We’ve developed a special, portable kit that includes towels, cord clamps, sterile scissors, and a self-inflating resuscitation bag,” she says. “I grabbed the kit while one of my assistant nurses got us warm blankets and extra towels.”
They gave the supplies to Dr. Labrum who attempted to give Lillian air with the resuscitator, but she needed more support.
“We took her up to the floor and put her in a warmer with a CPAP machine until she stabilized,” Laura says. “She did great and went to be with her mom about an hour and a half later.”
Laura compliments Dr. Labrum with his help during a chaotic situation. “It’s really serendipitous that he happened to be walking through the parking lot,” she says.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, testing was done to make sure there was no transition of the coronavirus to the doctor, mom, or baby. “We needed to make sure everyone was negative,” Laura says. “It was a unique situation.”
As far as having a child during a global pandemic, Audra says she’s taken it in stride. “I was worried, but everyone was extra cautious with masks and hand sanitizer and gloves. We just kind of got used to it. Our hospital stay really wasn’t that different from normal, other than having a crazy birth story.”
She also says they were very lucky to receive help the way they did in the parking lot. “We’re grateful that the timing worked out and someone was readily available to help,” Audra says. “It was my fastest birth by far. We should’ve known better by number six.”
Lillian has since joined her grateful family at home. She is the couple’s fourth daughter and has two brothers.