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Baby delivered on the side of highway
Tiny Holly May Coers wasn’t wasting any time to make her grand entrance.
Holly was due Jan. 13, but instead, she arrived Dec. 27, with her dad Nick Coers delivering her on the side of Highway 97A, just south of Enderby.
“He can be super dad for awhile,” said wife Elizabeth Coers.
Still in holiday mode and preparing for a delivery date two weeks away, the first-time parents — he is 22 and she is 24 — weren’t ready for what happened at about 5:30 a.m. Dec. 27.
Contractions began and Elizabeth’s water broke.
“At about 6 a.m., I could see the baby coming out backwards,” said Nick.
Calling an ambulance was considered, but with just one stationed in Enderby, it could be some time before paramedics were available. So instead, Elizabeth went into the backseat of their vehicle and the couple hit the road for Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
However, they only got as far as the Starlight Drive-In when the contractions escalated.
“She (Elizabeth) said to pull the car over because the baby was coming. I got out and ran to the passenger door,” said Nick.
It was then that Nick, a carpenter, realized that he was going to help his daughter enter the world.
“It was instinct for me. I used to milk cows and had delivered a couple of calves so I had some kind of idea of what to do.”
He also kept Elizabeth calm.
“I was the most scared I’ve ever been,” said Elizabeth, a Sicamous native who is going to school to be a teacher.
The biggest concern was how rapidly the situation evolved.
“During the pre-natal classes, they said things progress a certain way and there are three stages of labour. We didn’t get to use much of it, (training)” said Elizabeth.
Once delivered just before 7 a.m., Nick made sure Holly was breathing and then he gave her to Elizabeth and covered them in a jacket, before getting behind the wheel again and continuing on to VJH.
He called his mom, Chris Coers, and asked her to alert the hospital about the situation. Nurses were waiting upon arrival.
“There was a lot of shock. They were pretty amazed at how well things had gone and how bad they could have been,” said Nick of the breech birth.
Holly was quickly checked over and with the exception of a torn umbilical cord, declared to be in perfect health.
Mom and daughter, who weighed in at five pounds, eight ounces, went home Saturday.
“She’s beautiful. She’s the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Elizabeth, who has nothing but pride for her husband and his quick actions.
“He’s pretty amazing. He was definitely the calm one.”
The new family is looking forward to celebrating its first new year together, and it’s already a given that Holly will be told about her birth when she is old enough to understand.
Driving along Highway 97A and past the drive-in will always ignite memories.
“It’s something nobody will forget any time soon,” said Elizabeth.