Community Stories

Oh boy

October 20, 2017

Rachel and Jason Stearns knew they would likely have their baby on Friday, October 13 – some would say an unlucky day – but they had no idea the day would turn out the way it did.

At eight days overdue, Rachel – a Police Client Services Clerk with the Red Deer RCMP – was induced on Friday morning, much like she was with her first baby, Cooper. The couple returned home with instructions to come back to the hospital later that day. But the baby had other plans.

Within a couple of hours, Rachel felt a few contractions and decided it was time to go back to the hospital. That’s when things got interesting. The baby didn’t want to wait, and from there things moved quickly. Jason called 911 and Holly Shrader, communications lieutenant with Red Deer Emergency Services, took the call.

“I had Holly on speaker phone, but I barely had time to talk before the baby was born,” said Jason. “Within 30 seconds, the baby was born. His cord was wrapped around his neck twice, so I knew I needed to get him breathing. Instinct kicked in, and I got the cord untangled and then handed him off to Rachel.”

A moment of joy in the chaos was finding out the baby was boy – Rachel and Jason had opted to not find out the gender of the baby ahead of time. Daxton Duke Stearns officially entered the world at 1:44 p.m.  

Firemedics from Red Deer Emergency Services soon arrived and Rachel and little Daxton were taken to the hospital. It’s not a scene emergency services personnel encounter every day and Rachel remembers one of the firemedics asking if they intended to have the baby at home. Through her shock, she said, “no”. 

“It all happened so fast and I just couldn’t believe it”, said Rachel. “I was scared, I was in shock, but I’m so thankful for all the help and support we received from Red Deer Emergency Services. They’ve stayed in touch with us, and we just want to thank them for everything they did.”

For Holly, it was no ordinary day either.

“The day started off like any other, but this call changed everything,” said Holly. “With a call like this, your training kicks in and you just want to be there for the person on the other end of the phone. I’m so thankful there was a happy ending – this call made my day, my week and my year!”

On November 23, the Stearns had the chance to thank Holly in person at RDES Headquarters. For Holly, it was extra special to meet little Daxton, and see with her own eyes that he’s healthy and happy.

“When a call ends, that’s usually it for us and we rarely know the outcome,” said Holly. “But in this case, I’m thrilled to know there was a happy ending for Daxton and the rest of the Stearns family.”