Grandma delivers baby with dispatch
Tena Edmondson sounded fairly calm as she spoke with a 911 dispatcher, but the chaotic scene in her southeast Carson City home was not the norm.
Her 22-year-old daughter, Tosha Edmondson, wasn’t due to give birth to Dustin Blake until next month, but about 5 p.m. Sunday, her cramps turned into excruciating pain – and by the time Tosha made her way from her bedroom to the living room, it was all but over.
“My daughter is in labor, and she’s coming real fast,” Tena said to Carson City emergency dispatcher Wendy Talavera.
Talavera, competing with the racket in the house and Tena’s divided attention, repeatedly told Tena she was going to give her directions to help her daughter.
Little Dustin couldn’t have picked a worse time to arrive, said Talavera. Carson City paramedics were all out on calls, and she knew the baby would be there before they would.
Talavera told Tena to move Tosha from the couch to the floor. On an audiotape, Tena can be heard directing others to help, including Tosha’s boyfriend, Shawn Thompson.
But, 2 1/2 minutes into the call, and before they could even move Tosha, Tena yelled: “Oh, he’s coming out! He’s coming out!”
Dustin didn’t care that paramedics were still 5 minutes away.
On the tape of the call, Tena tells Talavera that the baby is blue, so the dispatcher directs her gently wipe his face with a towel. As someone fetches one for Tena, you can hear a little wail.
“Is that the baby crying?” Talavera asks, her once-stern voice softening.
“Yes,” Tena said through what sounds like a smile.
“Hi, Honey,” she then coos to her new grandson. To anyone who can hear, she says, “Oh, he’s got lots of hair.”
Talavera said that in her 6 1/2 years with the Carson City dispatch, she’d helped to deliver another baby by phone. In that case, however, the child wasn’t breathing, and she had to tell the mother how to perform CPR.
“So I was just excited when I heard him cry,” she said. “I was like, ‘Thank you, Jesus.'”
The 911 call lasted 8 minutes.
As paramedics walk into the room, Tena can be heard announcing, “I delivered the baby.”
Knowing it was safe for her to hang up, Talavera makes one more statement that brings Tena back to reality.
“Congratulations, OK,” Talavera said.
“I delivered my grandson,” Tena replied – and, for just a moment, her voice cracked. “Thank you.”