A mom went into labor while home alone on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. at her family’s Lyndhurst, N.J. apartment, leaving her no choice but to deliver the baby by herself while waiting for police and her husband to arrive.
Delia Sumner told CBS 2 News that her husband, Michael Roberts, had already left to drop their two daughters off at school and head to work when she went into active labor. So she called Roberts, who then called 911. Sumner hoped paramedics would arrive in time to take her to the hospital, but her infant had other plans. She said she “heard the cry” and then felt “that little thing just moving against [my] leg,” and she knew the baby was coming.
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“With the Lord’s help I remained calm through the entire thing,” she said, calling the situation “an ordeal” as well as the most bizarre yet incredible day of her life. By the time first responders did arrive, Sumner had already given birth alone.
Officers from the Lyndhurst Police Department — Lt. Mike Carrino, Sgt. Paul Haggerty, Sgt. Rick Pizzuti and officers Steven Passamano, Russ Albecker, Phil Reina, Mike LeStrange and Elizabeth Hollenbeck, according to NorthJersey.com — could hear the baby’s cries through the door, which was locked. The delivery had taken such a toll on the mom that she couldn’t even get up to let them in, so officers knocked the door down.
They found the baby boy lying on his back on the floor with Sumner nearby, kneeling against the bed. They rushed in and cut the umbilical cord immediately, wrapped the infant in a blanket, then got on the phone to try to track down Roberts. But extenuating circumstances were preventing the anxious dad from getting home: His car had run out of gas on the highway.
“I tried to start it,” he said. “The car wouldn’t start.”
So Roberts decided to do some running himself. He abandoned his car and bolted down the highway to get to his home 1.9 miles away. Luckily, a kind stranger spotted the frantic jogger and decided to stop and offer him a lift home. “
Everything was just moving so slow,” he said. He also admitted that he dropped the ball on what Sumner called the “one task” he was assigned regarding the baby’s delivery.
“I told my daughters that I ran out of gas because we rehearsed this like 10 times. Everybody had a job to do … my job was to keep gas in the car,” Roberts told NorthJersey.com. “When I told them I ran out of gas, they said, ‘What were you thinking?'”
The couple decided to name the child Malachi, which means “my angel, my messenger.” Upon Roberts’s arrival, Sumner joked, “Congratulations, your son is here!” Sumner and baby Malachi were taken to Hackensack University Medical Center after the dramatic at-home birth and are reportedly in good health. Roberts said he feels “great and blessed” that all turned out well.
Lyndhurst Detective Sgt. Vincent Auteri called home births “very unique, very rare.” It was also only the second home birth that Eric Englehardt of the Lyndhurst EMS had assisted with in his 26 years on the job.
“It’s awesome. Usually, EMS, we deal with really sick people, overdoses and death,” Englehardt said. “To have a baby be born at home and we are able to take care of him, and bring them safely to the hospital, is a good feeling.”
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