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Special delivery: Baby canít wait, makes entrance in ambulance

by Susan Bromley

September 07, 2011

Colleen, Joey and Samuel Quisenberry. Photo provided.
The birth of Samuel Joseph Quisenberry at 2:40 a.m., Sept. 4 wasn't anything like his parents, Colleen and Joey Quisenberry, imagined it would be.

It wasn't induced like the births of their daughters, Lilly and Emma. There was no epidural or any painkillers whatsoever. And, most surprising of all, their son was born not in a hospital, but in the back of an ambulance traveling down Dixie Highway, less than two hours after Colleen's water broke.

"It was very different," she laughed on Wednesday, at home in Brandon Township three days after Samuel was born. "Natural was the right way to go, it was just not scripted. It was amazing. I just wanted to be in a safe environment."

Samuel had his own plans for his birthday, ignoring three false alarms in the preceding weeks and a planned induction for Sept. 7 due to doctors' concerns over his increasing size.

At about 1 a.m. Sunday, after one of her daughters woke up crying because of a storm, Colleen Quisenberry noticed her water had broken. Husband Joey, a police officer, was at work at the Oakland County Jail. Colleen first called her mother, Debbie Kelly, because she had to drive down from Traverse City. She then called her mother-in-law, Lana Quisenberry, who was her planned ride to the hospital and who would also bring Colleen's sister-in-law, Kelly Quisenberry, to stay with Lilly and Emma. Then Colleen called Joey to tell him to meet her at Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, where she planned to deliver.

Her contractions were light during the phone calls and she was very calm, with everything seeming to be going just right. Lilly and Emma had each taken about eight to 12 hours to deliver, so she figured she had plenty of time. But as soon as her phone calls were made, things changed rapidly. When her mother-in-law arrived at about 2:10 a.m., the contractions were roughly a minute apart.

"I was having a really hard time with the contractions," Colleen recalled. "I was in no way prepared... My contractions were really strong, so we wanted to avoid the dirt roads and the bumps. We took Grange Hall Road so we could stay on pavement and she could go fast... She was racing me to the hospital and all of a sudden, we were going by Groveland Oaks before the Michigan State Police Post and I said, 'You have to call 9-1-1, this baby is coming,' and she was like, 'What? We're almost to the hospital, we'll get there, we'll get there,' but I knew we wouldn't."

Lana Quisenberry called 9-1-1 and they directed her to the MSP post on Dixie Highway by Grange Hall Road, which is adjacent to the Groveland Fire Station #1. In what may have been the most perfect timing of the night, Joey Quisenberry arrived at the post at the same moment.

"I had no idea they were not going to make it to the hospital," he said. "I was taking my time, wondering if I should go home first. She was going to update me when she got to the hospital, then I got an emergency call from my mom, who told me she called 9-1-1, they weren't going to make it to the hospital and were going to the state post... I saw the lights and pulled in right behind them to the MSP post."

Groveland Township Fire Captain Jamie Barach and Lt. Brian Cremeans got Colleen on a stretcher and a state trooper got behind the wheel of the ambulance while they got her inside.

"I said, 'The baby is coming,' they got my pants down and he was crowning," said Colleen.

"We told her to do whatever she had to, if she had to push, go ahead," said Cremeans. "I guess we were ready. She was 100 percent effaced."

Colleen said it just felt good to get the baby out, and Fire Chief Steve McGee said Samuel was fully delivered before the ambulance made it to Mt. Holly, less than two miles from the State Police Post.

Samuel's cord was around his neck, but Barach quickly remedied that.

"Jamie is my hero," said Colleen. "Everyone was so awesome. I just want to thank them so much. The specialist at the hospital told us Samuel was not blue from lack of oxygen, but from being in the birth canal so long and being such a rapid birth... Everything was fine and he is good— a healthy baby boy."

Samuel Joseph Quisenberry weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 20 inches long. His big sisters are Lilly, 4, and Emma, 2. Proud grandparents are Lana and Joseph Quisenberry of Groveland Township and Debbie and Robert Kelly of Traverse City. Great-grandparents are Lillian and Robert Wright of Goodrich, Nancy Kelly of Dearborn Heights, Faye and Matthew Mersino of Oxford and Mary Ann Quisenberry of Ortonville.

"It was quite an experience," said Joey. "He's healthy and my wife is doing well, so it's a happy ending. We gotta hand it to the paramedics, they stayed calm and cool and were wonderful. We definitely want to thank them for being there and doing what they do."