Grand Forks police officer helps deliver two babies in one week
GRAND FORKS - A Grand Forks police officer has been honored for not one, but two special deliveries.
It's lunch time for one-month-old Amelia Rose, fresh off an afternoon nap. Amelia is SarahJean Stallman's new bundle of joy.
"She is a wonderful blessing," Stallman said.
This story includes a second blessing as well.
"It was cool to be a part of what I was a part of," said Grand Forks police officer Mike Ruit.
Ruit was part of the special delivery.
"I didn't think she would come that quickly," Ruit said.
SaraJean was home with her two-year-old daughter in the middle of the night, early in November, when her water broke and the contractions came fast.
"She was coming. I wasn't going to make it to the hospital, so I thought quick, so I could deliver her myself," Stallman said.
Amelia Rose wasn't due for another month.
"One big push and I felt down there, she is coming. One or two more pushes, boom, there she was," Stallman said.
"I was the first one there, and I knocked on the door and mom answered the door holding the child, and the child was awake and crying," said Ruit.
Stallman said Ruit clamped the umbilical cord while she cut it.
Ruit has had a little practice delivering babies. Just eight days after Amelia Rose was born, he helped deliver a baby at an apartment complex.
"The baby was only half delivered. She was in one of the bedrooms in the apartment. Everybody was kind of frantic," Ruit said.
Fortunately for the mom, Ruit had training most police officers do not have. Prior to joining the Grand Forks Police Department, he was an EMT at Altru Hospital.
"(I) helped deliver the baby the rest of the way. It really wasn't breathing or making any noises, helped clear its airway, it started breathing and crying," Ruit said.
Two babies in one week.
"A lot of people have come up to me and said, 'I've worked here twenty years, fifteen years, and I haven't even had one,'" Ruit said.
That's why he was unsure of what to make of the call to SarahJean's apartment.
"In the back of my mind, I knew it wasn't, but I thought it had to be a joke," Ruit said.
For his special deliveries, Ruit received the department's Medal of Merit award, an award that is not handed out each year like many others.
"That's the running joke, how many babies am I going to deliver tonight," he said.
An officer who is a father of three himself, dispatched not once, but twice.
"I'll definitely tell her the story. It's the perfect story to tell," Stallman said of her daughter.
"It's cool. It's one of the biggest moments in your life, when a child is born, just knowing everything turned out, the baby is healthy, knowing I was a part of that is pretty cool," Ruit said.