Due dates are great for giving expectant parents an idea of when their baby will arrive, but sometimes baby has other plans.
That was exactly the case for the Montgomery family in Geauga County. Not only was their baby early, she also made a dramatic entrance - and all with the help of a Sheriff dispatcher.
It was a little after 3:30 a.m. Monday.
“First I just thought this is getting pretty uncomfortable, I don't think I can be in the car for 45 minutes, and then the next thought was oh my goodness, I'm having a baby right now,” recalled mom Christine Montgomery.
Montgomery was supposed to deliver her fourth baby at Cleveland Clinic's main campus. Instead, she had to do it on the kitchen floor of her Munson home, with her husband, Eric, by her side.
“It was a surreal experience,” he noted. “It was very different."
Through it all, her friend, Karen Wright, was dialed in to 911. On the other end of the line was Geauga County Sheriff Dispatcher David Baird.
“Next contraction, we're going to want to push,” he can be heard coaching Montgomery in the 911 call. “Tell her to breathe.”
“He talked us through everything and told us what to do,” said Montgomery. “It was the voice of calm.”
Less than five minutes after that 911 call started, little Lillian made her big debut, ten days early.
“We kind of didn’t have time to be scared really, because you don't have a choice at that point,” said Montgomery. “It's just happening.”
“We take a lot of negativity home with us sometimes in this job, but to be able to know that you assisted in a live birth or making something positive inside of your community makes you very warm-hearted,” said Baird.
For now, Lillian is in the PICU at Cleveland Clinic. Her big brother and sisters are very excited to take her home, which should happen Monday.
In the meantime, Montgomery has a message for the man on the other line, who talked her through this unconventional delivery.
“I would just thank the dispatcher for being so calm and helpful,” she said.
Lillian has a heart condition, so she will have to come back to the hospital for surgery in a few months. But for now, she is doing really well.