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She expected to have a baby Friday night, but Erin Kelley never expected she’d deliver her baby girl on the kitchen floor.
But that’s where contractions brought her to her knees. The baby started coming — ready or not — with Kelley laying on the linoleum between a computer desk, hutch and kitchen table, beneath paintings from her 4-year-old son, Cory.
Kelley tucked her son into bed Friday evening with a promise that he’d have a baby sibling when he woke up. She headed to Norton Suburban Hospital with contractions 9 or 10 minutes apart Friday evening, but they sent her back home to Westport.
False alarm, the doctors told her.
“I knew what I was feeling wasn’t normal,” she said. “I know my body, I know what’s going on.”
But she went to bed anyway.
An hour later, she woke up in screaming pain.
Her husband, Chris, called his mother, Elizabeth, to stay with their son and started the car to head back to the hospital, “but we weren’t gonna make it,” he said.
And then Erin collapsed.
“I was really scared,” Erin said, “but she was coming, I didn’t have a choice.”
By the time Chris’ mother arrived from a few miles away, she found her daughter-in-law on the kitchen floor with the baby’s head already crowning.
Chris, scared for the health of his wife and baby, shuffled between his son’s bed – to ensure he stayed asleep through the chaos – and relaying information to Oldham County dispatchers, who provided guidance until EMS arrived.
Amazingly, Cory slept through the screams.
“I didn’t want him seeing this,” Chris said.
Erin Kelley’s step-mother came to help from a couple doors down. She supported Erin’s upper body as Elizabeth Kelley guided the baby out with no previous experience other than giving birth to her own children.
“It happened so fast you couldn’t think,” Elizabeth said. “Your instincts just take over.”
At birth, the baby’s umbilical cord had wrapped around her neck and she wasn’t breathing.
The women flipped the baby on her stomach, patted her back and cleaned out her mouth. Then Alyson Grace Kelley let out her few first whimpers of life.
EMTs arrived just in time to cut the cord and help Kelley deliver the placenta before they took her and the baby to the hospital.
Erin and 7-pound, 18-inch Alyson Grace are healthy and home with a story to tell for the rest of their lives.
“I look at it now, and it’s wonderful, it’s a miracle,” Elizabeth Kelley said, “but I never wanna do it again.”
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