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Paramedics reunite with baby born in back of Ont. ambulance


The birth of a child is challenging under the best circumstances but it was especially difficult for a Mitchell, Ont., mother and her now seven-month-old baby she named Wren.

“I started labour the night before, around 7 p.m., and we didn't think she was ever going to arrive,” Rachel Wybrow explained.

The next day, the situation changed quickly when the seemingly stubborn Wren wanted out in a hurry.

“My water broke as I was about to get into the car to head to the hospital,” recalled Wybrow.

Fearing that they wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time, she instructed her husband Aaron to call for an ambulance.

On duty that morning in Mitchell were paramedics Lori Cardno and Nathan Van Essen.

“With the call details that we got, it sounded like there was a good possibility that the baby might be delivered before we got to the hospital,” said Van Essen.

His intuition turned out to be spot on.

“[We were] not even out of Mitchell,” remembered Wybrow. “We went two concessions and Wren was born on the side of the road.”

Van Essen told Cardno to pull over on Highway 8, just before line 155, but Wren was introduced to the world before Cardno made it into the back of the truck.

“I was just scooting from the driver’s seat to the back and she didn’t want to wait,” said Cardno. “When I opened the back doors, there she was.”

Van Essen cut the umbilical cord and then all five continued to Stratford General Hospital.

“It's exciting, but at the same time, it's a little terrifying because it's not where you expected to deliver a baby,” explained Wybrow.

She said the situation would have been much more terrifying if not for the presence of Van Essen and Cardno.

“They were calm, which is all you can ask for in situations that are so crazy. We honestly couldn't have asked for better paramedics, they were wonderful.”

For Van Essen and Cardno, the chance to meet baby Wren under less stressful circumstances is a rare opportunity in their line of work.

“I think, unfortunately in our profession, we see people at their worst and although Rachel maybe wasn't that comfortable when we first met her, it was a happy story and we don't get those follow-ups as much,” said Cardno.

After a dramatic entrance into the world, Wren is healthy and doing well alongside her two-year-old brother Huxley, father Aaron and mom Rachel. Top Stories

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