Cedar City family credits 911 dispatcher for helping deliver baby
CEDAR CITY, Utah – One day, Nicholas Hathaway is going to have quite a story to tell.
Hopefully, this news article will help convince his friends it’s true.
“I don’t understand why they’re sending me home. I don’t want to go home,” said Cherie Hathaway, Nicholas’ mother, when recalling the day last month when she went to her hometown hospital in Cedar City, because she says her contractions were about two minutes apart.
She had been at the hospital for a couple of hours when, she says, the nursing staff told her it wasn’t time, and she had to go home.
“They really wanted me to go home, even though they were so close together,” said Hathaway about her contractions. “Like, I couldn’t even breathe. I have had three other children, so I have an idea of what it feels like.”
“The nurse was very insistent that we didn’t need to be there,” said Charlene Moses, who is Hathaway’s sister. “So, we wheel her back to the van. We get to the van and we come home and she’s just in agonizing pain at this point.”
When the family got home, Hathaway went to use the bathroom and was preparing to take a warm bath with lavender to relax and stay calm.
Before she could get in, though, and only about 20 minutes after getting home, her water broke.
Baby Nicholas wasn’t waiting any longer.
“I was like, ‘Oh my word!’ All I felt is baby’s head. It’s time. He’s coming,” said Hathaway when talking about that moment.
The family knew it was too late to go back to the hospital.
“911, what’s the address of your emergency?” asked Cedar Communications dispatcher Jeff Haycock.
“We have a woman who is in labor. The head is coming out,” Moses said. “What are we supposed to do?”
Haycock remained calm as he looked through his prompts to instruct them on what to do.
“You’re doing a good job. Just get a towel ready to catch the baby and wrap it up,” he said. “As the baby delivers, support the baby’s head and shoulders and hold its hips and legs firmly.”
“Remember, the baby will be slippery, so don’t drop it, OK?” said Haycock.
Haycock knew the family was relying on him.
“Is the baby crying or breathing?” he asked.
“No. Not crying,” said Moses. “Its eyes are open.”
“Is it breathing?” asked Haycock again.
“Is it breathing? No,” said Moses.
You could hear the relief in Haycock’s voice.
“All right! That’s great news,” Haycock said. “OK, baby is crying and breathing. Great!”
Less than two minutes later, EMT’s arrived to help the family.
Now, Nicholas is doing just fine.
“Yeah, obviously there’s a lot going on, but they were great at saying what was happening,” said Haycock, looking back on that day. “That’s one of the best parts about my job. You really can make a difference for people. We take a lot of calls where things aren’t that great, where people are having bad days and it’s not great and it’s not positive. And to have something like that where it is positive, it’s what I’m here for.”
“He did an excellent job,” Moses said. “He just gave me step by step calmly, and he said, ‘You guys are doing a great job, and everything will be OK.’ That’s what I remember mostly from the phone call is that he was really there to comfort me as I was trying to coach them on what to do with the baby.”
This 911 call had a happy ending, one that Nicholas might play for his friends one day, when you hear him cry for the very first time.
“I’m just grateful everybody is happy and healthy, and they’re doing as good as they are,” Haycock said.
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