911 dispatcher calls 911 for help while delivering baby at home
ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Doctors told Erricka Moorehead that her due date was September 12. But her daughter had a different plan, and Gabriela Marie Cooper was born on August 8 when Moorehead was at home alone.
“She is a firecracker. When she wants to eat she wants to eat. When she wants to be changed she wants to be changed,” she said.
Moorhead has been a 911 police dispatcher for six years and says she loves her job and loves to help people in need. But she said she never thought she’d find herself needing to call 911.
On August 8, Moorehead said she felt strong contractions but never imagined she was going into labor. She said she called her midwife and reported her contractions were only five minutes apart and she was feeling the need to push. The midwife told her to call 911, so she did and her friend and co-worker, Christina Garrett answered the phone.
Here are excerpts from the recorded 911 call:
Dispatcher 1: “City of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department 911, Garrett.”Moorehead: “Christina, this is Erricka Moorehead, I’m in labor.”
Moorehead’s call was transferred to a fire department EMS dispatcher with training to help people in medical emergencies.
Dispatcher 2: “Do you have any complications?”Moorehead: “No, she’s early but I got to push.” Dispatcher 2: “Okay” Moorhead: “Oh God, I got to push.”
Moorehead said she called 911 at 9:08 a.m. and her daughter was born at 9:12 a.m. after pushing just 3 times.
Moorehead: “She’s out, oh my God, she’s out.”(Sound of a baby crying)Dispatcher 2: “Okay, put her on your stomach.”
Dispatcher 2: “How’s she doing?”Moorehead: “She’s okay, she’s got her eyes open.”Dispatcher 2: “Alright.”
Moorehead said she had an epidural when her older daughter was born 16 years ago. With this birth, she said she wanted it to be natural but didn’t have this in mind.
Moorehead: “Welcome to the world.” Dispatcher 2: “Wow.” Moorehead: “Oh my God.”
Paramedics arrived at her house just minutes after she gave birth. They checked her and the baby and both were doing fine. Gabriela’s father is also a firefighter and arrived minutes after the paramedics and was able to cut the umbilical cord.
And back at the 911 communications center, Moorehead’s friends and coworkers were celebrating the birth with her.
Dispatcher 1: “Congratulations” Moorehead: “Thank you.”(sound of a baby crying) Dispatcher 2: “What’s her name?”Moorehead: “Gabriela.”
Moorehead said her daughter weighed 4 pounds and 15 ounces when she was born but weighs more than 8 pounds now and is growing fast.
“I really honestly don’t remember any pain. I think it was more like just the energy and being able to know that God was in the room and that, you know, I was able to deliver her safely with his help,” she said.
Moorehead went back to work this week, helping others through emergencies again. Her neighbors in Dogtown have rallied around her to celebrate her daughter’s birth and to show appreciation for the work she does. Some have mowed her lawn and others have brought her food and gift cards.
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