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A Richmond Ambulance Authority crew helped a woman give birth in her home. In a span of just 25 minutes after eating lunch, the Richmond woman gave birth in her own bathroom.

On Thursday, November 5, Katie Sanderson and her husband Joe were working from home. Like tradition, Sanderson’s doula Melanie Headley came over for lunch on her due date that afternoon.

Headley, a doula at A Brighter Birth LLC, had previously offered emotional and mental support to Sanderson during her first two pregnancies.

Around 12:45 p.m., the two along with Sanderson’s husband, sat in the backyard and enjoyed lunch.

Headley had planned to leave and return to the home after a few hours. After lunch, Sanderson’s contractions began.

According to Sanderson, Headley called the mid wife.

“She asked if we needed to get to the car and I said no I can’t. I can’t move. The contractions just started coming faster,” said Sanderson.

The family hoped to go to the hospital. Sanderson told 8news she went upstairs to get clothes to take on the journey, but when she got to the top of the stairs she had a ‘really long, hard contraction.’

Within three minutes, her water broke.

RAA crews help a woman with birth
RAA crews help a woman with birth

Headley and Sanderson’s husband called 911. The family got towels and a bowl for the placenta. Sanderson then gave birth on her bathroom floor. Soon after, Richmond Ambulance Authority Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) Kyle Gilley and Jacob Zamesnick arrived. Richmond Fire crews also arrived.

“Whenever you get a call for a pregnancy or active labor, your heart sinks a little.” Not so much because pregnancies scare you, but because of all the things that could go wrong,” said Gilley.

According to Gilley, he’d been on a few pregnancy calls before, but this was his first experience assisting with a newborn on scene. Sanderson told 8News, the two brought supplies like clamps, a bucket, scissors and a bag. They kept her calm and waited outside the bathroom door. They then checked her vitals and placed her on a chair.

Little did she know, she would have an audience after giving birth.

“My mom told me my entire neighborhood was out front waiting for me,” said Sanderson.

According to Sanderson, 15-20 of her neighbors gathered outside of her home, while the RAA crew carried her out in the chair.

“It was such a special moment and I had no idea who they were or if I would ever see them again. I just wanted to thank them,” said Sanderson.

She gave birth to her now 4-month-old son Henry, who is now happy and healthy.