NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Giving birth on the side of the road certainly wasn’t the plan for the Sorensen family who lives in Donelson, but on June 27 when Chelsie’s water broke on I-40 during rush hour traffic, the couple had no choice.
Almost one month later, Chelsie, her husband, Val, their two daughters, and their newborn baby, Jovie, thanked the first responders in person who helped get them to the hospital after the birth.
The couple planned to have their baby, at the birthing center at St. Thomas Midtown Hospital. In late June, they headed from their home in Donelson to the hospital and got stuck in traffic on I-40 when Chelsie’s water broke.
“I remember looking out the window and seeing where we were and thinking, ‘We’re not going to make it,'” Chelsie said.
Blocks away from the interstate, the couple and their doula had to pull over on McMillian and Church Streets, and Chelsie gave birth to baby Jovie in their brand new minivan while on the phone with 911.
Nashville fire crews were dispatched to the area during the birth.
Firefighters Robert Webb and Chasidy Baker, and Captain Brent Weatherly arrived on the fire engine before the ambulance. Paramedic Logan Steinbarge and EMT Lillian Nelson were on the way.
“We were mostly going over a game plan [while on the way],” Steinbarge said.
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Even though baby Jovie had already been born when the first responders arrived, Chelsie still had to deliver the placenta.
After Nelson cut the baby’s umbilical cord, Steinbarge helped with the placenta delivery.
“It was a lot of listening to mom, a lot of taking her cues, falling back on my training, listening to the people behind me, because I went from one patient to two patients in a matter of seconds, so it was just paying attention,” Steinbarge said. “[The mother] did all the work.”
First responders then loaded Chelsie and her baby into an ambulance and transported them to the hospital.
On Thursday, firefighters held Jovie and saw she was happy and healthy.
“I got to hold her when we were there, so seeing her now, it’s awesome,” Nelson said.
Chelsie told News 2, looking back, she is thankful she gave birth in her minivan versus having to deliver her baby in the hospital lobby.
“It was a different experience having [first responders] show up,” she said. “There’s a little bit of fear, but happiness and excitement all in one there, but now we can look back and say, ‘Ah,’ and be thankful.”