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In Route: A 9-1-1 Call Turns into a Special Delivery

Tiffini Shephard has worked as a 9-1-1 dispatcher in Amarillo for over four years. She's never answered a call like this.
"I'm driving my friend to the hospital right now and she is having a baby and I don't know what to do." Aspen Harder
AMARILLO -- It was a perfect pregnancy but a dangerous delivery. 

There was no epidural, no nurse, and no doctor.

Lydia O'Rear was about to have a baby on the side of the road.

Aspen Harder was the driver but halfway to the hospital Aspen's got a new job when Lydia's water broke. 

Lydia and Aspen have been friends for a couple of years.  They live in the same neighborhood so it was a natural fit to put her on the emergency call list just in case Lydia's husband was out of town.

It was late at night on February 19th when Aspen got the text message.

The expecting mother started sending out texts to friends around 11:25 p.m. because the pain had picked up. Lydia told them she might be having contractions and that she felt a bit off.  Lydia was just trying to hold on until the next day because she had a Dr.'s appointment.

Lydia wanted to wait.  The baby didn't.

One horrible contraction later, Lydia changed her mind, texting Amber,  "Yes, come over."

Amber got there minutes later with the intention of watching Lydia's son, Grady, while Lydia drove herself to the hospital.

By the time Amber arrived she found Lydia on the kitchen floor. 

The drive to the hospital was going to be a short one, Teckla to Olsen, I-40 to Coulter and a mile later you're at the hospital. 

They made it to I-40 and Avondale. 

9-1-1 Operator:  "What's your emergency?"

Aspen Harder: "I'm driving my friend to the hospital right now and she is having a baby and I don't know what to do."

Lydia O'Rear was going into labor on the side of the road. 

Tiffiny Shepherd has been a 9-1-1 operator at the Amarillo Emergency Communications Center for almost five years but she's never answered a call like this.

Shepherd remembers taking the call.

 "The baby was coming very quickly.  She was driving to the hospital.  We had to get her stopped and compel the friend to deliver the baby."

Aspen pulled over on Avondale and 20th just past the I-40.  Lydia's water had just broke.

It wasn't ideal but Lydia knew there wasn't much that was going to change. "Once my water broke I was like, okay, we're not going to make it."

Lydia was already in labor. "I just remember being like, okay, I'm going to have the baby and there is nothing we can do about it.  I mean there is literally nothing, you cannot avoid it.  You can't stop it."

Five minutes after making the call to 9-1-1 Aspen was holding a new baby on the side of the road at midnight.

It was a moment Aspen says she'll never forget, "I remember having a moment of clarity when I literally caught Vivy.  Lord let this baby be okay.  Fortunately she was. My hands were literally the first to touch this new little life."

Vivenne was born without any complications around midnight, February 20th en route to the hospital.  Lydia says considering how it happened everything is good.  "We're just really blessed.  We're just lucky that everything turned out to be okay."

This was a happy ending for Vivenne, Lydia and Aspen.  Something Tiffiny Shepherd rarely gets to experience. 

That same week Tiffiny had someone pass away on the phone while she was trying to help.

Five or six days later she was helping bring a new life into the world.  "It's always a miracle to have a child come into the world and it was great.  It just brought a happy ending to the week.

You can find the video of their meeting in our web extra.

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