The Kelly family of Vancouver has quite the story as their baby girl arrives on her own time
Brianna Kelly and her husband Justin figured they had time.
It was just a 15-minute drive from their home to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver.
Aria, their beautiful newborn baby, had other ideas.
She was arriving on her time on Aug. 29.
“We were on the freeway, and I said, ‘You need to pull over,’” Brianna recalled telling Justin.
Justin’s first instinct was to say, “No, we’re going to make it to the hospital.”
Brianna knew better.
“No, she’s coming right now,” Brianna said.
They stopped on the shoulder of I-205, southbound in between Salmon Creek and the the Padden Parkway exit. They called 9-1-1.
“Four minutes after that call, she was born,” Brianna said. “She came out after two pushes. He caught her, thankfully. She didn’t fall or anything.”
Now more than 3-weeks old, Aria is thriving with her family, including older brother Asher.
The Kelly family appreciates the help they received from 9-1-1 dispatcher Taylor Brady, as well as the firefighters who were on scene two minutes after Aria arrived and the paramedics who got there three minutes later.
For the actual birth, though, it was Brianna, Justin, and a phone call with Brady. Within seconds, Aria joined in on the conversation, if you will.
“We were on the side of the freeway. It was hard for (Justin) to hear. The 9-1-1 operator talked him through it, and thankfully, (Justin) was super calm,” Brianna said.
“It’s a little bit of a whirlwind, but it was one of the coolest experiences of my entire life,” Justin said. “I loved when our son was born, but to have a daughter born and to help deliver her on the side of the roadway …”
Now that’s a story!
Brady, who has been a dispatcher for seven years, was on duty with the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA)..
“I could tell from the beginning that the call was urgent,” Brady recalled. “The dad was super calm about what was going on. He made my job easy by following my instructions. We don’t take very many childbirth calls, especially on the side of I-205.”
They might not take a lot of those calls, but they are trained for those situations, Brady said. There is a protocol to follow.
The instructions worked as planned, and the Kelly family appreciated the voice on the other end, helping them through this emergency.
“That’s actually an amazing feeling,” Brady said. “We don’t get a lot of recognition or follow-up. Having a little bit of a follow-up and encouragement … I really am making a difference in helping people.”
Brady also pointed out that it was a team effort. While she was on the phone with the Kellys, other dispatchers were informing the firefighters and the paramedics of what was happening at the scene.
Aria was happening.
When Aria was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. At this time, firefighters and the ambulance were still en route to the family’s car.
“My husband knew that wasn’t right. He was able to slip his finger under it and get it away from her neck,” Brianna said. “You just have to do it because nobody else is there to do it.
“She was eventually able to cry.”
While a new life was coming into the world, the rest of the world just kept zooming by, cars and trucks going 60, 70 mph, drivers oblivious to the miracle of life occuring on the side of the freeway.
It was loud for the Kellys. It was chaotic. But Aria’s cry was just a beautiful, calming sound.
And not just for the Kellys.
Brady remained professional and on point during the call, sticking with the protocol to care for the baby. But to hear the cry, well, that was something special.
“Internally, I was super excited and trying to contain my emotions,” Brady said. “It was such a great moment and being part of that was amazing.”
For Brianna, the entire labor and delivery process started the previous night. She went to the hospital, believing she was ready to give birth. But she was advised to go back home and labor. It could be a couple more days.
The next day, she took a bath at around 2:45 p.m. That bath, Brianna said, sent her into “Phase 10” of labor.
It took a team effort just to get her to the car, in hopes of arriving at the hospital in time.
Even when they stopped on the side of the freeway, there was still hope that the paramedics would make it to the car before Aria was born.
“We quickly realized that’s not happening,” Justin said. “The baby is coming right now.”
Justin said he did not want to shy away from this challenge. He wanted to be there for Brianna and for Aria.
“I wouldn’t change that for anything. That’s just a really cool experience,” Justin said. “I just see the positive side of it all.”
Aria arrived at 3:31 p.m.
“I was praying about having a super natural childbirth and having God’s hand in it,” Brianna said. “I feel like God was there. There was a peace there. It was a wild experience. I’m just really thankful that God kept us safe on the side of the road.”
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