Pregnant Woman Goes Into Labor on the Front Porch of Her House – Police Officer Jumps Into Action and Delivers Her Baby
“Then I heard her cry. I wanted to hear that cry so desperately.”
On a typical Monday morning in East Hampton, New York, a couple found themselves in a harrowing situation that could have gone terribly wrong if it weren’t for the quick thinking and actions of a nearby police officer and her colleagues.
“Have you ever done this before?” Cody Vichinsky asked East Hampton Town Police Officer Grace Peterson as the two knelt next to each other on Vichinsky’s front porch.
“From the other side,” Officer Peterson responded, “Twice.”
A Pregnant Woman Goes Into Labor on Her Front Porch
The pair were kneeling next to Vichinsky’s wife, Lauren, each holding one of her legs. Lauren Vichinsky was about to give birth to the couple’s second daughter — right there on the porch.
A few minutes earlier, Officer Peterson had been assisting a woman who had fallen and broken her arm, when a call came in that a woman was going into labor.
The 19-year police veteran sprinted to her car, and rushed to the house, pulling in to find Lieutenant Daniel Toia putting an oxygen mask on Lauren Vichinsky, who was on all fours on the front porch, in visible pain.
“She was crying and timing her contractions with her phone — they were about two minutes apart — and she told me she had the urge to push,” the officer told local news. “It was her second child, so she knew that things were moving quickly. I could tell by her face that we were going to have that baby.”
Though officers were trained in child delivery, for Peterson that was 19 years ago, and she largely relied on maternal instinct. Masterfully, she was able to orchestrate the scene, get necessary supplies and direct other officers on the scene — who admittedly would have been lost without her.
How One Woman Followed Her Instincts to Deliver a Baby
The local police chief even admitted that in his almost 3 decade tenure on the force, he had never seen a child delivery before. The other officers on the scene, both male, also acknowledged that Grace Peterson managed the scene instinctually, much to their relief.
“Grace, it was like she’d done it a million times,” her colleague Toia said. “I asked her, ‘When the hell did you get an M.D.?’ She put on an outstanding performance. I’m really glad she was there.”
Cody Vichensky, the new father, also added that “[Grace] was in the zone, instinctively. She was directing everybody, and you could see she was thinking about each step ahead of anyone else.”
However, the delivery was hardly an easy one, and almost took a turn towards the tragic. As Lauren Vichensky started to push, and the head of the baby started to become visible, something was clearly wrong. “The head popped out, and she was blue as a Smurf,” Cody Vichinsky recounted. “She wasn’t breathing. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.”
Officer Peterson’s quick thinking and swift action might have just saved the day. According to local news, she recounted, “It was scary. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, and I could see fluid in her nose and mouth. I unwrapped the cord and was able to flip her over, and I put my fingers in her mouth and cleared out the fluid. And Cody got something, a suction thing, from the house, and was able to clear out her nose.”
How One Police Officer’s Quick-Thinking Saved a Life
Finally, to the great relief of everyone there, the baby released a cry, and was delivered. “I wanted to hear that cry so desperately,” Peterson remembers.
About an hour earlier, the couple first knew they were in for a surprise when Lauren Vichensky doubled over in pain at their East Hampton home. When she started to feel contractions, the two rushed out the door, but never made it past the front porch as the contractions intensified and quickened.
“We’re walking out the door, and she stopped, and next thing I knew she was on all fours in agony and couldn’t move — it suddenly got very real,” Cody Vichinsky recalled.
“Without those officers, I don’t think my daughter would be alive,” he said. “Officer Peterson, in our house, will always be a hero.”
Peterson went above and beyond the call of duty in a remarkable way, and was able to assist two strangers in one of their most intimate, important, and vulnerable moments. Officer Peterson is certainly a hero, but humbly maintains: “Lauren was the hero on that porch. I’m just happy I was there to be able to assist her. Mother’s Day should definitely be a full week.”