Red Deer emergency dispatcher Alanna Robertson meets Baby Owen

Family recounts baby’s birth on Hwy 11

When his pregnant daughter called for a ride, Doug Brown thought he’d have time for a cup of coffee before driving her to the hospital. Mother Nature proved him wrong.

When his pregnant daughter called for a ride, Doug Brown thought he’d have time for a cup of coffee before driving her to the hospital.

Mother Nature proved him wrong.

Tiffany Brown “had three contractions by the time we got to the Alberta Springs Golf Course,” recalled Doug, who ended up delivering his grandson on the side of Hwy 11 at 4:45 a.m. on Jan. 9.

Doug had taken on hospital driving duty because his daughter’s partner, Chris Foster, was still apprenticing as a millwright in Lloydminster when Tiffany went into labour. The young couple believed there would be plenty of time until the birth, since their second child wasn’t due until Jan. 23.

But there wasn’t time.

“This isn’t supposed to happen,” Doug remembers thinking, after his daughter said, “’Dad, I think the head’s coming’…

“I thought: Oh dear god, here we are. This is real life happening here!” Doug recalled.

The outside temperature was -25 C when he pulled off the dark, mostly empty highway. He parked his truck near the entrance to the golf course and called 911.

Although Doug remembers being calm “because I had to be,” he appreciated hearing what to expect from emergency dispatcher Alanna Robertson. “She said get a good hold of him, (the baby’s) going to be really slippery when he comes out,” Doug recalled.

All it took was one push by Tiffany, and Doug was holding his newborn grandson, Owen — who is brother to Patrick, age 20 months.

After the infant started breathing and crying, Doug wrapped him up in his jacket. Robertson told Doug to use one of his shoelaces to tie off the umbilical chord about six inches from the baby’s belly — and then to wait for the ambulance to arrive.

Tiffany and her newborn were taken by paramedics to hospital, where Owen weighed in at seven pounds, three ounces. There were no birth complications.

Ten weeks later, mom and baby are doing so well they wanted to thank Robertson in person for her assistance. Along with Grandpa Doug, the whole Sylvan Lake family met the emergency 911 dispatcher in Red Deer on Saturday to express appreciation.

Doug, who works as a mixer/driver with a local cement firm, said he had tried to talk to Robertson a few hours after the birth, but was told the dispatcher had finished her night shift.

“All of a sudden, you were gone,” he told her.

Robertson said she actually helped deliver five babies by phone since she started dispatching in 2009, but this is the first time she got an in-person thank you. “I got a couple of thank-yous before, but never like this. It’s super cool,” said the dispatcher, who was thrilled to meet the family — especially baby Owen.

“It’s nice to put a face to someone who helped you,” said Tiffany, who doesn’t remember much about what was said that night, but feels she was in good hands.

“My dad was pretty calm, so I was calm. If he wouldn’t have been, I wouldn’t have been.”

Considering Tiffany’s labour with Patrick lasted 10 hours, Foster never expected Owen to come so fast. “I wish I could have been there sooner,” said the young dad, who “thought they were messing with me” when he was first told about the road-side delivery.

Tiffany’s mom, Stacey Brown, also thought her jokester husband was pulling her leg about the baby being born in his truck.

“I thought, yeah, right — until I heard the baby crying.” Stacey said she’s very proud her husband “kept it together” — right up until she asked him several hours later, how he was doing,

“Then I lost it,” admitted Doug. “It’s very close to my heart to be able to deliver my own grandchild. I still can’t believe it happened.”

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Motorcyclist dies of injuries

Ponoka RCMP continue to investigate collision

Huge crowds gathering in downtown Toronto for Raptors parade, rally

TORONTO — Jubilant Raptors fans decked out in the team’s gear are… Continue reading

Boeing says ‘sorry’ for Max crashes, seeks renewed trust

LE BOURGET, France — Boeing executives apologized Monday to airlines and families… Continue reading

Protesters demand embattled Hong Kong leader resign

HONG KONG — Demonstrators in Hong Kong gathered Monday outside the office… Continue reading

After harsh Twitter exchanges, Senate will look at new social media policy

OTTAWA — An independent senator is on a mission to get members… Continue reading

Pro-pipelines rally draws crowd to City Hall

Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Canada missing out on billions in revenue

Canadian sports fans have changed since the Blue Jays’ World Series wins

TORONTO — After more than a quarter century since one of the… Continue reading

Henderson wins Meijer LPGA to break Canadian victory record

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Brooke Henderson won the Meijer LPGA Classic on… Continue reading

Franchise fatigue continues with ‘Men in Black’ and ‘Shaft’

LOS ANGELES — Brand familiarity isn’t everything when it comes to attracting… Continue reading

‘Hunger Games’ prequel novel coming in 2020

NEW YORK — A decade after seemingly wrapping up “The Hunger Games,”… Continue reading

Federal cabinet decision on fate of Trans Mountain pipeline due Tuesday

OTTAWA — The Liberal government’s $4.5 billion gamble to buy the Trans… Continue reading

Skier, 22 dies after fall on Mount Haig near Castle Mountain Ski Resort

PINCHER CREEK, Alta. — RCMP from the Pincher Creek, Alta., detachment are… Continue reading

4 years in, Trump fondly recalls Trump Tower campaign launch

NEW YORK — It was the escalator ride that would change history.… Continue reading

Massive protests draw apology from Hong Kong leadership

Hong Kong citizens marched for hours Sunday in a massive protest that… Continue reading

Most Read