By SAMANTHA PIDDE
Kristin Dolieslager is happily reporting that her infant son Sebastian is healthy and doing well a month after being born on the bathroom floor of her downtown Mount Carroll apartment.
Dolieslager, 33, still had another three weeks of pregnancy to go when she began having contractions on the morning of July 29, in her apartment above the Mount Carroll Pharmacy. She said she had begun having contractions every hour or so through the night and early morning, with them starting to "hit really hard and fast" around 6:30 a.m. Kristin guesses it was around 7 a.m. when she went to the bathroom and was hit with birth pains so severe she could not leave the bathroom.
"I knew I was going to end up having a baby," Dolieslager said.
Fortunately, the baby's father, A.J. Zacharias, 30, was home at the time and called 911. Dolieslager said that normally Zacharias would have been at work, but he had been outside that weekend and had a bad case of "sun poisoning," causing part of his face to swell. She said this was actually lucky for her.
According to Carroll County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mike Holland and Deputy Justin DeSpain, the 911 call came in about a woman in labor between 7-7:30 a.m. Holland said it is not uncommon for deputies to respond to EMS calls so they can start emergency care, or at the very least, relay the patient's condition to responding EMS personnel.
“The call was just across the street from the courthouse so I ran over to help,” Chief Deputy Holland said. “Deputy DeSpain arrived at the same time.”
The deputies raced up the flight of stairs and learned Dolieslager was in labor and her water had broken. Holland said he has been in the delivery room before and witnessed a baby being born, but did not have hands-on experience with the delivery. DeSpain said that while he has been in the delivery room with his own children, he had never been in a situation like the one he encountered that morning.
"I thought at first we would just be there to comfort her until the ambulance arrived,” said DeSpain. “However, it became apparent very quickly that the baby was not going to wait. This is not something they train at the academy.”
Dolieslager said Zacharias had gotten behind her to help her with the labor and the two deputies directed him how to help deliver the baby. Holland said Zacharias did a great job in the delivery.
"Mother and father both did a good job staying calm and communicating with us," DeSpain said.
Dolieslager recalls that Zacharias noticed from his position supporting her from behind that the newborn’s cord was wrapped around his neck. Zacharias and Holland worked to remove the cord and Zacharias helped clear the baby's airway with his fingers.
"He was definitely a life-saver," Dolieslager said about her partner.
DeSpain said he found some towels and handed them to Zacharias to wrap the baby in to keep him warm. The Mount Carroll Ambulance arrived a very short time after the birth and took over care of both the mother and baby.
"It was truly an amazing experience to witness," Chief Deputy Holland said about the delivery.
After the EMS personnel arrived, DeSpain said he noticed the baby had "several anxious and a little scared" siblings waiting in the other room.
"I spoke to them and asked them if they knew what was happening,” Deputy DeSpain said. “The oldest explained she did and said she knew they were going to have a little brother. I asked them if they were excited to have a new baby brother. They said yes, and asked if they could go over to see him, so I walked them over so they could get a look at their brother."
Sebastian Zacharias weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces and was 20 inches long at birth. He is welcomed by his three sisters and two brothers: Ivy, 12; Lilly, 8; Sage, 17 months; Hayden, 13; and Noah, 11.
Dolieslager said baby Sebastian has had a few complications from his early arrival, including being really jaundiced, of which he still has a slight case. However, she said he seems to be doing well.
Everyone involved the birth said was an interesting experience.
"I believe in total, from the time we were dispatched to the baby arriving, it was around five minutes,” Deputy DeSpain said. “It was definitely a call that I will never forget and was happy that all went well.”