GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN/CNN) – When a family in Oregon welcomed its newest member, the baby came fast, so fast the mother gave birth in her own shower with her 10-year-old daughter assisting.
Mother Jamelah Yoakum says she never imagined the birth of her new baby, Jah’Liam Huff, would be anything like it was.
“It happened so fast that I literally didn’t have time to be nervous, scared, anything,” she said.
At 37 weeks pregnant, Yoakum knew it was time to head to the hospital last Saturday, but she thought she had time to shower and get her 4-year-old and 10-year-old daughters ready to go.
Baby Jah’Liam had other plans.
Yoakum called 911, and dispatcher Virginia Krakowiak helped guide the mother through the birthing process.
Because Yoakum and her daughters were alone – with the baby’s dad fighting to get through traffic – 10-year-old Harmony was standing by to assist her mother.
“I kept breathing and listening to what they were saying and just, like, helped,” Harmony said.
Within minutes, baby Jah’Liam arrived, weighing 6 pounds and 7 ounces.
Right after, paramedics were on scene.
“Thank you guys for getting me through traffic, for keeping me calm, for talking to my daughters, making sure that they had someone here before I left in the ambulance. I really, really appreciate it, more than you’ll ever know,” said Yoakum during a reunion with her helpers.
The reunion was happy and tearful, with paramedics, firefighters and Krakowiak all saying it was a special moment for them.
“Most of our calls are people’s worst moments in life, so having somebody’s best moment in life is a nice change,” firefighter Jared Pargas said.