'Not what I was expecting': Police officer delivers baby on the side of the road
KITCHENER -- An early morning traffic stop turned in to something much more for Const. Leslie Timmermans of the Perth County OPP.
She was working a night shift on Saturday when she saw a minivan speeding along Perth Road 119 around 4 a.m. heading to Stratford.
Timmermans pulled the vehicle over and learned the passenger was in labour and her husband was driving to the hospital.
She asked if they wanted an ambulance called to their location, but the pair believed they could make it to the hospital.
Timmermans escorted the vehicle for five concession roads before he pulled over behind her.
“I pulled back and pulled down my window to ask if they were alright, and the only words I caught were: ‘can’t go, baby here,’” said Timmermans. “Certainly not what I was expecting.”
The constable contacted her dispatch for an ambulance as the husband made the wife comfortable for delivery.
Timmermans asked the husband if she could have a look, introduced herself to the wife, and asked again for permission to look.
“My goal was to reassure her,” she said. “I told her this is what your body’s for, we’re going to be fine, you’re in charge, if you want to push you push, and if you want to rest we’re going to rest.”
Timmermans could see the baby’s head and knew it was crowning. She says it felt like seconds later that the wife was pushing and that she could see the whole head.
The Constable then noticed that the lips of the baby looked a little blue.
“I looked around the neck and saw the umbilical cord was there,” said Timmermans. “I slid my fingers down his head and neck and positioned it so I could use slack to get it off.”
Before she knew it, the rest of the baby came out.
“I laid him on my hand face down, patted his back, untangled the cord, radioed in to dispatch, and they had just called to ask if I wanted to be put through to the ambulance so they can walk me through,” she said. “I cued it up and said, ‘yeah I delivered the baby.’”
Timmermans was worried the baby hadn’t cried yet, but as she was getting ready to call in an update, the baby made some noise.
“I have personally never delivered a baby before this and I’m not signing up to do it anytime soon,” she said.
Timmermans and her wife had their first child in June of last year and were present as it was being delivered by their midwife and doula.
“I tried to do what I had seen them do and we were lucky that it worked out really well,” she said.
The constable said the moment didn’t sink in as a “holy crap moment” until a unit partner showed up afterwards.
“I wondered after they left what would have happened had I or another car not been there, because they wouldn’t have made it to the hospital,” said Timmermans. “It turned out to be fate that I was there.”
The constable has said she’s gotten nicknames, had retired officers reach out to her, and heard plenty of positive feedback from the community since she delivered the baby.
“Hopefully it puts a positive spin on everybody now during these times,” said Timmermans.
With reporting from Tegan Versolatto