The Reilly family’s plan was simple. When it was time, mom and dad would head to the hospital for the birth of their second daughter. And when Maggie Reilly woke up to contractions shortly after midnight on March 7, she didn’t panic. Instead, she timed them just to make sure before waking up her husband. But when Steve Reilly started packing for the trip to the hospital, the contractions suddenly came faster and harder.
“As I turn out my front door, I have another contraction and my water breaks,” said Maggie. “Then, I got in the car and I have another contraction. At this point, I’m saying there’s no way we’re going to make it to the hospital.” By that time, the grandparents-to-be had arrived at the Reilly’s Roxborough home.
Maggie’s father-in-law called 911 and the crew with West Metro Medic 13 and Engine 15 responded. “We pulled up and everybody was out in front of the house and Maggie was in the front seat of her car,” said Dennis Hollister, West Metro firefighter/paramedic. “When we did our first check, she was crowning, so we got Maggie into the best position we could in the car.” It only took one more push, and just about two minutes after the crew arrived, baby Wren was born. She weighed 5 pounds, 6 ounces, and was 18 inches long.
“One of the main rules in EMS is don’t drop the baby and here I was. It was probably a good three to four feet to cold concrete ground,” said Hollister. “So that’s where all my focus was – don’t drop the baby and we did OK there.”
After Wren was delivered, firefighters moved baby and mom to the back of the ambulance to get warm and to do a quick assessment of both patients. “Everything happened so fast. Everybody was in the right place at the right time,” said Maggie. “In such a chaotic situation, they didn’t miss a beat.”
Mom and daughter were taken to UCHealth in Highlands Ranch, where both got checked out. Everything was fine, and they got to go home shortly after. For firefighters, the experience was something they’ll remember. “Most of our careers, we’re showing up during people’s tragedies where we’re there to help, and it’s rewarding to do so, but you don’t get to see people at a good time in their life very often,” said Hollister. “So, to be involved in a call where nothing could be happier, it gives you that good feeling that we get to see some joyful things as well.”
Ronda Scholting is Public Information Officer for West Metro Fire Rescue.