A baby due to enter the world Tuesday in a hospital instead arrived Sunday in the Baker Police Department’s parking lot with the assistance of a dispatcher.
Michelle Lewis, the dispatcher, delivered Courtney Daniels’ baby in the department’s parking lot when it became clear Daniels wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time.
Daniels, 24, said she, her parents and her 4-year-old daughter were on the way to Lane Regional Medical Center when they decided to stop at the Police Department to get an escort to help them get to the hospital faster.
Daniels said she had been in severe pain since she first felt a sharp pain in her back earlier in the evening.
Lewis said she had been at work for about an hour and a half when Daniels’ father rushed into the lobby shortly after 8 p.m. and said his daughter was in labor. An officer called the East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services Department to send an ambulance as Lewis headed out the door.
“I grabbed gloves and went outside,” Lewis said, adding she had learned how to deliver babies while working at the Baker Fire Department.
“This Michelle Lewis, she came out there, and she helped me with everything,” Daniels said.
Lewis, standing at the car door, delivered the baby in less than 10 minutes while Daniels sat in the back seat of her parents’ car.
“My 4-year-old was rubbing my forehead, saying, ‘Are you OK?’ ” Daniels said.
Daniels delivered Journee Bibbins, a healthy baby girl, at 8:16 p.m.
“She’s doing wonderful,” Daniels said Tuesday, the day Journee was due.
Lewis and her supervisor visited Daniels and Journee on Monday to check on the family, who were doing well, Lewis said.
“That baby will hold a special place in my heart,” Lewis said. “Just a beautiful little girl.”
When asked if she had delivered a baby before, she laughed.
“This is my first,” Lewis said.
Lewis said that to her knowledge, it was the first baby born in the Baker Police Department’s parking lot.
Lewis has worked as a Baker police dispatcher for almost seven years and volunteered at the Baker Fire Department for about 10 years before that, she said.
“We were blessed to have her there to help us,” Daniels said.
Follow Danielle Maddox Kinchen on Twitter, @Dani_Maddox4.