April 23, 2008
Lyons mom gives birth on U.S. 287 near Lookout Road
By David Accomazzo
LAFAYETTE — Rena Kirkland’s friends warned her that the 45-minute drive from her home to the hospital could pose a problem when the time came to deliver her second child, but she laughed off their concerns.
“No one has a baby in 45 minutes,” the Lyons resident recalls telling friends.
It took Kirkland just an hour and a half Thursday morning.
The labor went so quickly that her husband, Nathan Kirkland, had to call 911 during the drive to Exempla Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette, pull the car over and wait for help to arrive.
“I was getting ticked off that we were standing still,” Rena Kirkland said during a press conference from her room at the hospital Thursday afternoon.
At 8:55 a.m., Deputy Steve Aubry of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office delivered the Kirklands’ second child on the southbound shoulder of U.S. Highway 287, just north of Lookout Road.
By 9:05, the mother and baby — Grant Aldren Kirkland — were at the hospital.
“I think we were laughing 20 minutes after he was born, but the 20 minutes before that were the 20 scariest minutes of my life,” Rena Kirkland said.
In her hospital room a few hours later, she looked healthy and the baby slept through the press conference.
“He’s been very content, happy, calm,” she said.
Grant’s birth was actually easier than that of her first child, she said.
Colorado State Patrol Troopers John Trentini and Edward Padilla, who arrived at the scene first, were minutes away from the family’s car when they heard dispatchers call for someone to help the Kirklands. Padilla had delivered a baby once before, but for Trentini, the situation was a new one.
“It’s a good experience. When it works out well, it’s a good experience,” Trentini said.
The Boulder County Sheriff’s Communications Division, which handles 911 calls, has protocols designed to handle roadside births, and the division deals with two or three each year, said Tony Spensieri, the dispatcher who received Nathan Kirkland’s phone call.
Although Spensieri has delivered babies himself, he never had instructed anyone over the phone, and he could tell the situation was “imminent” judging from the sounds coming over the phone, he said.
Aubry, who delivered the child, said it was the second childbirth he attended during his career. He called this second one “a piece of cake.”
“It’s great when something like this happens,” Aubry said. “It makes the bad days a little better.”
David Accomazzo can be reached at 303-684-5336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.