Saskatoon

'This will be a great story to tell': Saskatoon father delivers baby daughter before help arrives

Trevor McKenzie-Smith had a brief moment of panic before he calmed his nerves to help his partner Martha Robbins deliver their baby daughter.

Sudden arrival of baby Eva Katharina leaves no time for help to show up

Trevor McKenzie-Smith and Martha Robbins with baby Eva. They also have a son, Sam. (Trevor McKenzie-Smith)

Trevor McKenzie-Smith had a brief moment of panic when he realized he and his partner would have to deliver their baby daughter alone. 

His partner, Martha Robbins, noticed the early signs of labour shortly after returning home from a mayoral debate at the Broadway Theatre at about 10 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Baby delivery 101

But within minutes McKenzie-Smith was on the phone to a paramedic, taking instructions on how to deliver a baby. 

"Initially, for sure there was a little bit of panic. I didn't think this was an ideal situation and it was not what we had planned at all, but I just had to be there for Martha," he said.  

Robbins and McKenzie-Smith had planned to have their baby at home with support from midwives, like they did when their son, Sam, was born. 

But Baby Eva Katharina arrived so suddenly there was no time for the midwives to show up. 

McKenzie-Smith called 911 and was transferred to a paramedic, who asked a lot of questions, then relayed instructions over the phone. 

'I just sort of got it together'

After a moment of panic, he calmed his nerves to support his partner through the birth. 

"It was very intense for her, she also wasn't expecting this, and she was actually experiencing the pain," he said. 

"I just sort of got it together and described to the operator on the phone what was happening, and did my best to deliver the baby so that she was as happy as she could be when she came into the world."

Baby Eva Katharina arrived in such a hurry there was no time for help to arrive before she was born. (Trevor McKenzie-Smith )

McKenzie-Smith said he tried to think back to his son's birth to make sure what was happening was normal. 

The paramedic told him repeatedly to be ready for the baby to arrive, he said. 

"She actually warned me about a dozen times over the next four minutes to not drop the baby when the baby came out," he said.

"She told me that the baby would be slippery and that I had to have a couple of towels ready to support her head, and support her shoulders."

Help arrives — a little late

McKenzie-Smith said a paramedic came through the door about three seconds after baby Eva was born. 

The paramedics were followed by police officers and firefighters, as well as two midwives. 

Within minutes, the family living room was crowded with 12 emergency responders. 

"These big firefighters and the police, they were shaking my hand and saying 'congratulations' and 'good job'," he said. 

McKenzie-Smith said it was a huge relief to have their support, and to have the paramedics make sure Eva was OK.   

He can't wait to tell his daughter what happened once she's old enough to understand.

"This will be a great story to tell her every year on her birthday, about how she came into the world, and how her mom and dad managed to get her here on their own," he said.

About the Author

Alicia Bridges is a digital and broadcast journalist at CBC Saskatoon. Email her at alicia.bridges@cbc.ca.