Central Minn. mom delivers baby in vehicle on way to hospital
BRAINERD, Minn.—Brainerd resident Kelsey Henson never thought she would deliver her baby along a Minnesota highway.
But that is what happened the morning of Jan. 19 when Henson left her Brainerd home to get to Riverwood Healthcare Center Hospital in Aitkin. She didn't make it to the hospital until after her baby Javeah Mae Henson arrived in a hurry midway between Brainerd and Aitkin near Deerwood.
Henson said Javeah—who weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces and was 20 3/4 inches long—joins her older sisters Kiandra, 7, Jakiyah, 3, and Kamierah, 2.
Henson said the story of her baby's birth began the night of Jan. 17. Henson's youngest two girls arrived fast when they were born, so her doctor told her when contractions are about 10 minutes apart that she needed to start her drive to Aitkin—about a 35-minute drive from her home. When contractions were 15 minutes apart, Henson headed to the hospital. Her contractions reached two to three minutes apart while at the hospital and she thought the baby was coming. However, her contractions stopped and she was discharged from the hospital the next day.
Henson had a doctor's appointment scheduled the morning of Jan. 19 and her oldest daughter Kiandra wanted to go. Her father's girlfriend, Christi, arrived to take them to the hospital at 8 a.m., at which time Henson began having contractions again at about six to seven minutes apart.
"I was thinking it was going to be a false alarm again," Henson said. "By the time we got to the Brainerd airport the contractions were getting worse. I called my husband (Jeremy Henson) and told him I think we were going to have a baby today. By the time we got to Deerwood I knew she was coming fast and called him back and told him to hurry. Contractions were 1-2 minutes apart and I called my mom and dad and they told me to call 911."
Henson said she called 911, but was told they no longer do police escorts. Henson said the 911 dispatcher said they would send an ambulance, but she said, "I don't have time for that and we would try to make it" and about five minutes later, her water broke.
"I looked over at my dad's girlfriend and I said 'I am sorry but ... I'm having this baby,'" Henson said, as she had her phone on speaker with the 911 dispatcher. "I grabbed her head, which was completely crowned and I could feel all of the hair ... I am like I am about to push her out and in one push she was (at) the shoulders and then I just kind of grabbed her and pushed her all the way out.
"The 911 operator then said to pull over right now as we were still going like 60 mph on the highway."
Henson said after delivering the baby she panicked because Javeah looked blue and wasn't crying. Henson started to rub the her back and she started crying. According to the American Baby and Child Law Centers, a baby is born blue often means the blood that carries oxygen throughout their body isn't circulating properly.
In the meantime, her husband and law enforcement officers arrived to the side of the highway and then the ambulance came. Ambulance personnel cut the umbilical cord, got the baby in the ambulance and put her on oxygen. Henson and her baby were transported the remaining 10 miles to the Aitkin hospital where Dr. Don Hughes was the attending physician.
"They were all so amazing," Henson said of the emergency responders and her family. "Kiandra was so brave and looked for a blanket to wrap Javeah in once I delivered her and she made all the phone calls to her dad and grandparents to let them know that she was born. My driver Christi remained so calm during all of it and got us as close to hospital as possible and safely at that."
Henson said they both are doing well and they guess the baby was born around 8:29 a.m. Jan. 19.
"It definitely was an exciting morning," Henson said.
Riverwood hospital staff stated Javeah was the hospital's first baby of 2018.