Edmonton

Edmonton moms reunite after one gave birth in parking lot

Just before Mother's Day two Edmonton women had an emotional reunion. They first met in a grocery store parking lot April 3rd when Crystal Black went into labour and delivered a baby within minutes with the help of Tamala Peters.

Crystal Black's due date was still a week away when she decided to do some shopping

Crystal Black (left) holds baby Cali who was delivered by Tamala Peters (right) outside a south Edmonton grocery store. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

When Tamala Peters heard screams in a grocery store parking lot she wasn't expecting to deliver a baby just minutes later.

That was exactly what happened outside a south Edmonton Superstore on April 3 when Crystal Black went into labour.

The two women had been in touch via social media but had not met face to face since her birth. The families were both emotional during their reunion at a south Edmonton EMS station Saturday, just one day before Mother's Day.

Black's baby wasn't due until April 10, so she had decided to do some shopping, even though she had some mild labour pains. While in the store she said she started to feel intense contractions. That's when she decided to head back to her vehicle.

Crystal Black delivered her baby Cali unexpectedly on April 3 with the help of a stranger who heard her cries. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

"I was terrified," Black said. "I was scared. I was embarrassed. I was in a public place. I was alone. I was in so much pain that I was out of control."

Peters and her family stopped to do some shopping when her and fiance both heard the screams. Peters says she sent him ahead to check out the situation but when he waved her over she knew something was wrong.

"As soon as I got to the truck and I saw her and the terror in her eyes," Peters said as she choked back tears. "As a mother … I understand."

Peters, a former paramedic, jumped into action. She asked another woman who had come to see what was going on to call 911 then she worked to free Black from her maternity clothes.

Within second Peters could see baby Cali and noticed that she wasn't crying. She flipped the baby upside down and then used her pinky to remove some mucus from the baby's mouth and she then began to cry.

"[I remember] just being so grateful that she's ok, that she's alive. Because this could have turned out so differently."

"I say that everything happens for a reason," Peters said. "I wasn't supposed to be there that day, I went with my son-in-law and family to a meeting I wasn't supposed to go to. I wanted to go to Superstore, but not that one. My fiance took me to the wrong one but that's ok."

Tamala Peters holds baby Cali who she helped deliver April 3 in a grocery store parking lot. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

Black says it took some time for all the adrenaline to wear off but now she is settling into life as a mom to five.

To honour her incredible actions Kaylee Pfeifer, AHS EMS public education officer, presented Peters with a stork pin —the same pin that is also presented to paramedics who deliver a baby outside of a hospital setting.

The stork pin is handed out by AHS to paramedics who deliver a baby outside of a hospital setting. One was given to Tamala Peters for her help delivering baby Cali. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

"We show up in every type of circumstance," she said. "Sometime we're delivering that baby or sometimes we've got a proud or scared dad holding that baby or a grandparent and, every now and then like today which is a little more rare, a complete stranger."

Pfeiffer says that happens once or twice a month.

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