Five minutes into a ten-minute drive to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital a cab driver called 911 for his pregnant passenger and then, with no time to spare, began to help deliver the baby himself.
It was a girl.
“The 911 dispatcher on the phone was saying ‘tell her to push on the contraction’ and I’m like ‘don’t push, don’t push,” said the cabbie, in a phone interview Friday.
“I wanted the paramedic to get there,” said the cabbie. “I didn’t want the baby to shoot out onto the floor, right?”
Cabbie Ron, who declined to have his last name published, picked up a woman and her husband and their young son about 2 a.m. Wednesday, he recalled.
The pregnant woman, who had her bags packed for the hospital, appeared fine until she got in the vehicle and then began screaming “the baby’s coming,” he said.
The cabbie attempted to drive the family to the hospital but soon realized the couple needed an ambulance paramedic, not a taxi driver.
Ron called 911, pulled over to the side of the road at the intersection of St. Georges Street and Millstone Avenue, and over the screaming from the back seat tried to tell the 911 call taker what was happening and where, and then followed instructions.
The cabbie went to the back seat where the mother was propped up on the seat, and he felt the baby’s head which he described as slippery.
Finally, just in time, as he had hoped, the paramedics arrived to complete the delivery.
It took less than 10 minutes.
“I was just thinking ‘thank the Lord, thank the Lord,’ ” said Ron.
The mother prayed as she was delivering, said Ron, so after the paramedics arrived, “I got back into the front seat and I started praying with her. We prayed to Jesus and God and it helped settle her.”
Ron said throughout the journey the father was worried about how the birth of the child was occurring and everyone’s safety.
Ron said in his decade or so of driving a cab he’s always prepared for a surprise or something new but he’s never experienced anything like this and had never delivered a baby. Ron never got to see his own child born as his wife had to have an emergency procedure.
“It was a rush, it was just like, wow, that’s something, right?” said Ron.
“It was cool to see a natural godly thing,” he said. “I got to hear the baby’s first breath and colic and, you know, it was something. It was amazing.”
The cabbie drove the father and son to the hospital, following the ambulance, and once there the paramedics offered to let the father to cut the umbilical cord.
Ron, who got a $20 tip, said he took a half-hour break following the delivery, cleaned off minimal fluid on the back seat, and got back to work.
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