Iron River, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) - EMT volunteers at Iron River Ambulance thought they'd seen it all, but they'd never had to deliver a baby. Until recently.
"The page came in for a 26 year old female approximately seven months pregnant whose water had broken and was in extreme pain," recollected Peggy Kman, the assistant director of the Iron River Ambulance
Peggy Kman, Carri Willoughby and Bev Tapani, an EMT student, rushed to the woman's aid. Their plan was to take her to a Duluth hospital, but the baby had other plans.
"We got one mile west of Iron River and it became apparent," Kman said. "It became apparent she wasn't going to make it to the hospital"
They didn't! The baby was born en route. It was a delicate process, because the girl was born with the umbilical cord around her neck.
And to make the situation harder, the baby was born two months premature. She weighed just 2 pounds, three ounces.
"I could take the wedding ring off my finger and put that ring all the way up the arm of that baby," Kman said.
While mom rode the ambulance, dad was following right behind them.
The parents said it's tough to prepare for something that happens so quickly, especially when they just found out about the pregnancy 24 hours earlier.
"She had gone to her doctor, she suspected she was pregnant," said Matt Weisz, the proud father. "She didn't know she was pregnant that long, it was pretty much a shock to all of us."
A shock kept front and center by the baby's middle name.
"We gave her the middle name "Surprise" because it's the best surprise I've ever had,"Weisz said.
As for the EMT volunteers, they say it was hard not to show emotion during the delivery process.
"I wanted to cry, I was trying not to, trying to remain professional, Kman said. "That's hard to do. I had this little teeny tiny amazing thing in my hands it was incredible."
An incredible experience, Kman says took teamwork and a prayer or two.
Kara-Kay "Surprise" is said to be doing just fine. Dad says she's starting to gain weight and is expected to remain in the hospital for two months.
Both parents say they are grateful to the ambulance crew and to the staff at Essentia Health -St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth.
Written for the web by Kevin Jacobsen