Two Albuquerque parents could not wait to meet their baby girl but, as it turned out, she may have been more excited to meet them.
“Once it started it just went so fast,” said Lucie Curtis.
Lucie and her husband Bayle were already parents of a 2-year-old little boy, so they felt like they knew what to expect this time around.
“I had the bag already loaded and everything ready to go,” said Bayle.
Already four days past her due date, Lucie felt like it could happen anytime — and it finally did last Tuesday.
“She didn’t give us much warning,” said Lucie.
“I realized she was going into labor much faster than I had anticipated,” said Bayle.
Bayle called 911, knowing there was a possibility they wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time.
Paramedics from the Albuquerque Fire Department’s Station 16 arrived within minutes. They quickly loaded Lucie into the back of a rescue unit and Bayle rode in the front.
In the back, were Lt. Jimmy Nieto and intern Hayden Fischer. Adam Arviso was behind the wheel.
“We’re hoping the baby comes out healthy and there are no complications,” said Nieto.
Without the luxury of a hospital or pain medication, using materials that fit inside a gallon-size plastic bag, the paramedics delivered a healthy baby girl named Sophie in the back of a moving ambulance.
“It’s just not something we do every day, especially a healthy baby,” said Fischer.
Sophie’s parents couldn’t believe what had just happened. They were picked up at their home and within five minutes, Lucie had given birth.
“I was riding up front and heard them saying ‘head’ and I was thinking ‘Head?! Really? This is happening?” said Bayle.
The Curtis family spent the next few days recovering at the hospital.
Monday, the family returned to Station 16 to thank the first responders who kept them safe.
“It’s something we’ll remember forever and something so special,” said Lucie.
For some perspective, the average labor time for second-time moms like Lucie is eight hours. She says from the time of her first contraction to Sophie’s birth was just 40 minutes.
During their 48-hour shift, Unit 16 responded to 27 other calls, including a wildland fire. They still made time to go back to visit the Curtis family in the hospital.