Tim Correira/The Enterprise
Julia and Chris Mansfield of Easton relax with their newborn daughter, Emily, at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro on Monday night.
By Maureen Boyle
ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
Posted Nov 18, 2008 @ 07:09 AM
Police dispatcher Jean Amichetti relayed the directions over the phone to the soon-to-be father. Get towels. Lay her on her side or back, "whichever is comfortable. Stay calm."
"I'll walk you through this," Amichetti assured him.
On the other end of the phone was Christopher Mansfield. His wife, Julia, was on the floor of their Easton home, as wave after wave of contractions swept over her.
"The baby is coming, she is saying," Mansfield told the dispatcher.
"Keep her reassured," Amichetti keeps telling him on the recorded conversation. "Keep her calm."
For seven minutes, Amichetti kept Mansfield on the phone Sunday evening with the Fire Department ambulance racing to the house.
The couple's 3-year-old son, Maximilian, hugged his mother. "Mommy has an ouch," he told his father.
Julia Mansfield was convinced help wouldn't make it to their home in time. " I thought my husband was definitely delivering this baby," she said on Monday.
Dispatcher Amichetti prepared herself to talk him through the delivery, what to do when the baby came out.
Then Christopher Mansfield heard the Fire Department at the door. "The people are here," he told her.
"You did good, you did great," Amichetti told him, and hung up.
The baby - Emily Mansfield, 6 pounds, 15.2 ounces - was born as the firefighters got to Julia Mansfield's side.
"If they came in 30 seconds later, I would have been holding the baby in my hands," Mansfield said.
A few minutes later, Amichetti heard someone click on the radio in the ambulance.
"I heard the baby cry," she said. "Until I heard the baby over the mic cry, I didn't know how it turned out. That was real nice to hear."
It was the first baby Amichetti helped deliver in her 15 years as a dispatcher. It was also her own mother's birthday.
The new mother and baby girl were taken to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro.
Amichetti said she was able to stay on the emergency line with Mansfield because there was another dispatcher, Anne Ponticelli, on duty.
"I would have had to put him on hold if we didn't have a second dispatcher on duty," she said. "I would have to answer the other emergency calls."
The call was one of the dozens the dispatchers answered Sunday on the 4 p.m. to midnight shift. It came at the start of the shift, around 5:48 p.m. She said she was grateful to know how it ended.
Near the end of the shift, the dispatchers sent the ambulance to another house in town. A mother was calling. Her son was overdosing.
"This is the highs and the lows of the shift," Amichetti said.