Paramedic helps wife deliver their son in hospital parking lot: 'I’ll never forget it'

Shawn Kellogg poses in the hospital with his wife Shantel and his newborn son Wyatt. (Credit: Shawn Kellogg)
Shawn Kellogg poses in the hospital with his wife Shantel and his newborn son Wyatt. (Credit: Shawn Kellogg)

As a paramedic, Shawn Kellogg is prepared to handle any medical emergency. So when his own wife went into labor faster than expected, the first responder jumped into action and delivered his son in the parking lot of a hospital.

Shawn, a 31-year-old engineer paramedic for Diamond Springs-El Dorado Fire Protection District in California, and his wife Shantel, a 4th grade teacher, were expecting the birth of their second child, Wyatt, on June 1.

When Shantel began to have contractions the couple went to Kaiser Roseville Medical Center, believing she was close to going into labor.

However, they were told the expecting mother was only in pre-labor and discharged when her contractions did not meet the hospital’s criteria for admit.

“We walked the grounds of Kaiser for three hours. Her contractions became worse and closer together,” Shawn tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “However we did not meet their criteria for admit.”

The Kelloggs were hesitant to leave the hospital. The family lived 45 minutes away and Shantel’s first pregnancy had progressed unusually fast, according to Shawn. However, when they were discharged a second time, the couple finally went home.

“Her contractions increased in severity throughout the day, but never met their five minute criteria,” says Shawn. “And we didn’t want to drive down there just to be turned away again so we wanted to be sure she was in ‘active labor’ before we left.”

Unsure when the delivery would be, Shawn and Shantell began driving to her parents’ house the next day to see their 2-year-old daughter Quinn, who was staying with her grandparents while they awaiting her little brother’s birth. However, in the car ride there, Shantel unexpectedly went into labor.

“And he looked at me and he goes, ‘Okay, what do you want?’ And I said, ‘An ambulance. We’re not going to make it anywhere,’” Shantel told FOX40.

Shawn called the local dispatch center and told the operator to have a medic team and an ambulance meet them at the nearby fire station. Shantel’s labor progressed quickly and her water broke while waiting for the ambulance.

When the first responders finally arrived, the medics recognized Shawn immediately.

“I recognized the guys working on it and they asked if I wanted to be the lead medic,” Shawn recalls. “I said I did and took guys off the engine and truck with me and we started heading to Mercy Folsom [Hospital].”

However, Wyatt wouldn’t wait to arrive at the nearest hospital. Shawn had to deliver his own son in the parking lot.

“Wyatt was crowning on Highway 50 and as we pulled into Mercy Hospital parking lot, I delivered him,” Shawn tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Wyatt was born at 6:21 p.m. The birth of their son wasn’t the only fateful surprise to happen on June 21. Shawn and Shantel met at the El Dorado County Fair nearly 15 years ago on the very same month and day.

Although Shantel’s delivery happened in an unplanned and unexpected frenzy, Shawn says it’s a moment he’ll never forget.

“I never expected to deliver my own son. This is the first time I was the lead medic for a childbirth call, and I’ll never forget it,” Shawn recalls. “Trying to play roles of husband, paramedic and father at once... I can’t describe.”

While Shawn was the one who stepped up when his family needed him most, he says he “couldn’t be prouder of my wife.”

“She never intended to deliver our second naturally — no medications — and she did wonderfully,” says Shawn.

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