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Libby native assists in road-side baby delivery

by JOSH MCDONALD
Hagadone News Network | June 21, 2022 7:00 AM

Primal isn’t necessarily the way most mothers would describe themselves, but for Casey Vincent, that word is now worn as a beautiful badge of honor.

When Casey woke up this past Friday morning she was pregnant and began her day as such.

By the end of the day, she was no longer pregnant and had lived one of the wildest days that any of us could ever experience.

Casey’s sister-in-law Toni Vincent, who also is Casey’s doula, is a Libby native and had gotten into town the night before. Thankfully so, because Toni's skill and expertise were going to be needed in just a few hours.

“She had been there and been my doula for my last birth and we knew that we wanted her there again for this next one,” Casey said.

After waking up and going through her morning routine, the contractions really got going and it suddenly became apparent to Casey that baby was coming… and quickly.

Vincent, who self-admits to being more on the granola side of things had planned for another water birth like she had done with her second child — so as the contractions kept coming — each one quicker than the last — Casey, her husband Austin, also a Libby native, and Toni got the truck loaded and were making their way down from their home in the Bear Creek area near Enaville, when the situation became a sooner rather than later event.

Toni had told Austin to call ahead to the midwife at Dayspring Midwifery and tell them to get the tub ready for the birth because the baby is going to come quickly — if they even make it there.

That may have been the first time it was said out loud, but suddenly the gravity of the situation was very present.

“We were headed to Pinehurst to drop our older kids off at day care, but as we're headed there I could tell that we were running out of time,” Casey said. “I kept thinking ‘this is fine, they’ll slow down.’ So I’m sitting there in the passenger seat facing the back on my hands and knees with Toni squeezing my hips to lessen some of the pressure from the contractions. As we passed the on-ramp to I-90 there to head to Pinehurst, I told Austin to turn around and get on the interstate, we’re not going to make it.”

Austin wisely followed his wife’s instructions and it was almost instant as they merged into the traffic of I-90 Casey began feeling the urge to push.

Toni sprang into action coaching Casey on breathing techniques that may help slow down any sort of labor and give them some extra time to make the drive.

“Toni works in hospitals and is in training to become a nurse and in no way is the same super granola-y person that I am, she had done the home birth with me before, but it was out of her comfort zone. She likes being in the hospitals,” Casey said. “She was not exactly pumped that I was pushing already in the truck and began coaching me to help me slow down in hopes that I wouldn't begin bearing down and pushing.”

That did not work.

Suddenly, Casey’s water broke — and everyone in the truck heard it.

Casey’s two daughters sat in the back, her 3-year-old kind of oblivious to the happenings around her, but her 5-year-old was aware that something was happening.

And that it wasn’t supposed to be happening the way that it was unfolding in front of her.

“I was trying to comfort her between contractions,” Casey recalled. “I could see that she was worried and just tried to tell her that everything was going to be OK.”

Just before the Rose Lake exit, Toni recognized that the time to push had arrived and there was no delaying it any longer, so she called it.

“Baby’s coming out, we need to pull over.”

Austin was about to pull off the freeway and had planned to call 911, but the realization that there was no cellphone service in the area prompted Toni to tell him to keep driving and that there was no real time to waste.

As the beginning of Fourth of July Pass loomed in the distance, Austin had an epiphany.

“The boat check station! They should have a radio that can call dispatch,” Casey said. “So he flies in there, flashers on, and my sister rolls down the window and tells the people working there at the boat check station to call for an ambulance because we’re having a baby.”

The boat inspection crew suddenly had a far more important task than what they were used to handling, but nevertheless, they stepped up.

One of the ladies working there took Casey’s daughters to the inspector’s shack where they were kept comfortable with popsicles and coloring books.

The rest of the crew stayed on hand if anything was needed.

The plan was to get Casey out of the front seat and into the back seat to have the baby, but as soon as she found herself next to the truck waiting to be helped into the back it became very evident that she wasn’t moving anywhere until the baby was born.

“There I am next to the truck squatting and Toni and Austin helped me undress my lower half and I was just bearing down,” Casey said. “I can remember Toni calling for towels as well as telling Austin, ‘do not let me drop this baby!’ She’s standing behind me, coaching me how to breathe and to push, and then she caught the baby.”

Prior to the birth, Casey and Austin had elected to not find out the sex of the baby, but in that moment right around 9 a.m. Calvin Scott Vincent made his grand debut into the world.

Toni patted the baby to encourage him to begin crying in an effort to clear his lungs and get him breathing on his own, in the meantime Casey is now taking her top layers of clothing off so that she and Calvin can share that important skin to skin contact — which is probably even more important when the baby is born on the side of the road in the morning hours of what has been the coldest stretch of late May and early June in recent history.

“I have no shame, you really don’t care in those moments at all,” Casey said. “There I am totally naked holding this baby that I just gave birth to.”

A blanket and chair were brought over so Casey could sit and hold Calvin and kept him safe from the elements and before too long the ambulance arrived.

“They took us to the hospital, but they didn’t know what to do with us,” Casey said. “We weren’t their patient at all, but they watched us for a few hours and then were allowed to go home that night.”

Clocking in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces and 21 inches long, Calvin and his brave momma are perfectly fine and healthy. Calvin’s sisters are adjusting to life with their new brother, and Austin is happy that the odds have evened out a little bit now that the little fella has arrived.

Casey believes that Calvin’s birth certificate reads Cataldo Weigh Station, which will probably lead to several laughs from him and his family for the rest of their lives.

“I think it was that he was just so excited to see me that he couldn’t wait anymore,” Casey said with a laugh.

Despite what sounds like a very arduous experience, Casey is very thankful.

She’s thankful for her husband and her sister-in-law for being strong in a scary moment.

She’s thankful for the workers at the check station, who did everything they could to make sure that she was safe and comfortable, as well as taking care of her daughters when she and Austin could not.

Her thankfulness is tied directly to her faith.

“We want to give all glory to God for his provision and protection in this situation,” Casey said. “We had a lot of people start to pray for me around that exact time of day having no idea that any of this was even going on.”

As far as Casey is concerned, the granola mom bar has been set pretty high.

And for you Mr. Calvin, welcome to the world.

If your entrance is any indication, you are going to be something special.