Ill. medic has 9-pound baby on highway
Her daughter was born blue and the delivering EMTs got her breathing
HUDSON, Ill. — Amanda Bradbury is used to responding to emergencies, but didn't plan on being on the other end of one herself. But she's not complaining, not one bit.
Bradbury, 31, and her husband, Kyle, were on their way to a Bloomington hospital Wednesday night, but didn't make it in time — and wound having their baby girl delivered on the side of Interstate 39.
The delivery room was the front seat of the Minonk couple's van surrounded by EMTs from Hudson and a village police officer.
"The funny part is I'm a paramedic, myself, up in Naperville," Amanda Bradbury said Thursday.
She and her 9-pound daughter came through it without any complications, mom said from her hospital bed at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, where she and the baby remained on Thursday.
"She's doing great. We named her Breleigh," said Amanda Bradbury, noting the baby wasn't due until May 6.
"I was hoping to come in, have my epidural and be relaxed like I was with (the birth of) my son," said Amanda Bradbury. "She had other plans. She wasn't waiting."
While shopping earlier in the day in Bloomington, she experienced contractions about 30 minutes apart, but thought they were false labor pains.
The contractions were tolerable, so she finished shopping, picked up her 5-year-old son at school, went home and made dinner. She told her husband about 6 p.m. that they should probably go to the hospital.
"I said maybe we ought to get our stuff together. I may be in labor," she said.
After her mother-in-law arrived to pick up their son, the couple headed to the Twin Cities.
"We were coming here to St. Joe's and I started having contractions one to two minutes apart. I told my husband to call 911 because we weren't going to make it," Bradbury said.
The emergency dispatcher told the couple to pull off the interstate at the exit to Business 51 to Normal.
"Then a Hudson police officer (Josh Saathoff) showed up real quick," she said. "I started feeling like I had to push. The head started coming out and then the Hudson ambulance got there and (the EMTs) came over. About three more pushes and she was out in the front seat of the van."
Hudson EMT Chris Wasowicz delivered the baby and was assisted by EMT Matt Zielsdorf.
Bradbury said she noticed the baby was blue. The EMTs provided oxygen, using a mask, and got the baby breathing on her own.
Hudson Fire Chief Dan Hite and a Hudson fire engine also arrived at the scene.
"We did receive assistance from Normal Fire Department paramedics after the baby had been delivered," Hite said "We had her out and she was breathing when they got there."
Hite stopped at the hospital Thursday to bring the family a card and flowers from the fire department and emergency personnel. Both EMTs visited with Bradbury later in the day.
"It's not every day that you deliver a baby along side the interstate," Hite said. "It's a very rewarding experience. It's a wonderful thing to bring a new life into the world and be a part of that experience. The guys did a super job and I'm very proud of everybody who was involved."
The Hudson Fire Department has not delivered a baby in a vehicle that anybody currently working there can remember, Hite said.
"I've been with the department 30-plus years and I have never delivered in the field myself," said Hite, also an EMT.
"I'm just so thankful that they were there," said Amanda Bradbury. "They did a phenomenal job. I couldn't have asked for any better. We will be having to make a trip to the firehouse and bring them a chocolate cake or something."
And, she didn't want to forget about her husband.
"For being a farmer, he did a good job," Amanda Bradbury said. "He didn't flip out at all. I don't think either of us had enough time to be nervous. It just happened that fast."
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