Baldwin's "first responder" emergency medical service arrived in time to bring Dakota James Lynch-Adams into the world.
A Baldwin woman's plan to give birth at Lawrence Memorial Hospital went awry last week.
But thanks to some quick action by the Baldwin Emergency Medical Service "first responder" team, Angie Lynch and her son, Dakota James Lynch-Adams, are doing just fine.
Lynch, who lives just south of Baldwin, started having contractions last Thursday night. She made the 40-minute drive to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, arriving about 10:30 p.m.
"They checked me, and they said I wasn't in labor. So they sent me home," said Lynch, a 20-year-old student at Wright Business College in Lenexa.
However, after arriving home, the contractions began again.
"I went into hard labor, and my water broke about 1:20 a.m.," she said. "As soon as my water broke, the head started coming."
Her parents, who were with her, had already called for an ambulance. But Lynch knew she couldn't wait much longer.
"I was scared to death. I was terrified because his head started coming, and I was trying to keep him from being born. I was screaming," she said. "I had to keep him from being born because there was nobody here to deliver him. He was pushing himself."
Michael Berndt, a 35-year-old volunteer emergency medical technician, was asleep in bed when his pager woke him at 1:15 a.m.
Berndt, who works days as a carpenter, got up and drove over to the Baldwin firehouse.
Berndt, part of the Baldwin Emergency Medical Service, a "first responder" volunteer group, roared the emergency response vehicle out of the firehouse and drove the 2.5 miles to the farmhouse.
"I was listening to the radio, and according to the person on the phone, the head was showing," Berndt said, who had never delivered a baby before. "I was really hoping that the paramedics would be there."
When Berndt arrived, Baldwin police officer Richard Anderson was already in the living room, comforting Lynch, who was on the couch.
Berndt asked her how far apart the contractions were. Four minutes, Anderson said.
"She said, 'The baby's coming right now,'" Berndt said.
He put his gloves on and got the equipment ready, checking her and the baby out.
"She said she pushed him back in," Berndt said. "I said, 'All right, let's go.'"
Lynch said she was relieved when Anderson and Berndt arrived.
"I told the paramedic, Michael, that he was coming," Lynch said. "I pushed and his head came out, and I pushed again and the rest of him came out."
During the birth, more help arrived: Dennis Leslie and James Balch, two paramedics with the Douglas County Ambulance Service who live in Baldwin.
"They came in, and they had all of the other equipment," Berndt said. "I was just a small cog in the machine."
Leslie and Balch finished the process, clamping off the cord, cutting it, cleaning the baby and checking his vital signs and overall health.
Anderson, who coached Lynch during the birth, helped suction out the newborn's nose and mouth.
By that time, two Douglas County sheriff's deputies, Ken McGovern and Ron Wilson, were on the scene. McGovern started getting an IV set up for the mother.
Rob Kort, operations supervisor from DCAS, had arrived with an ambulance.
"It was kind of busy," Berndt said. "It was a big team effort. I was sure glad we had all the help."
Berndt said the Baldwin EMS has now had three labor-related calls in the past year and a half. The other two babies were born in the ambulance en route to the hospital.
"We had one that was born at 27th and Iowa and another was born in the parking lot as the ambulance was backing up to the emergency room," he said.
After Lynch gave birth to her 8-pound, 3-ounce, 21-inch baby boy, mother and child were transported by DCAS to the hospital.
The boy's father, James Adams, joined up with the family at LMH.
And Berndt, whose only experience with birth before was with calves and pets, brought his wife to LMH to see the new arrival.
"It really was spectacular," Berndt said. "The miracle of birth happens every day. ... It was probably the highlight of my career right now."