Family meets dispatcher who helped deliver son

Kent County

CALEDONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — A Caledonia family never thought their baby would be delivered inside a car, but that’s what happened on May 15, 2018.

“The whole time I was thinking, we’re going to make it, we’re going to make it,” said Paul Schuitema.

Schuitema has two children, and he never thought he would have to deliver one of them.

“Kristin (his wife) woke me up at about 6 o’clock and said ‘I don’t think you should go to work today.’ I said ‘alright,’” Schuitema said. “She got in the shower. I went to check on her and she said ‘I think I should probably be timing these contractions.’”

He quickly woke up his daughter.

“While I was getting her ready, Kristin yelled upstairs, and said, ‘we got to go,’” Schuitema said.

They frantically left their home and headed to Holland Hospital.

“I didn’t have a shirt on, I threw on clothes as fast as I could. We threw the kids in the car and hit the road. I mean (I was) going 90 miles an hour down the highway, trying not to be too crazy,” Schuitema said. “We got off the highway and Kristin said, ‘pull over right now.’”

Schuitema called 911. He barely had time to help his wife on the other side of the car when their baby boy, Joey was born.

Ottawa County dispatcher Mary Allman answered that call. Her calming voice helped the family during that situation. Recently, the family met Allman.

“It was good to have someone to kind of walk me through. I witnessed one birth before, but certainly not in these circumstances,” Schuitema said.

The Ottawa County Dispatch Authority awards its dispatchers who help callers give birth over the phone with stork pins.

However, Allman did not qualify because the baby was well on his way out when she answered the call.

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