A teenage lifeguard has been lauded for her quick thinking after springing into action when a woman went into labor on the pool deck.
Natalie Lucas, 18, was the only lifeguard on duty at the YMCA of Northern Colorado when a pregnant woman’s water broke on July 24.
‘We knew the baby was coming. We just didn’t know if it was going to be a week, two weeks, or today,’ Tessa Rider, who was a few days past her due date with her third child, told The Washington Post.
Rider, 29, had been experiencing discomfort toward the end of her pregnancy, and floating in the water was the one thing to provide her some relief.
While Rider and her husband, Matthew Jones, 29, knew the baby was coming, they didn’t know it’d be that morning as Rider swam in the YMCA’s pool.
‘All of a sudden, I felt the need to push,’ Rider said.
The mother was barely out of the pool when she fell onto her hands and knees. Her water broke as she landed, and the baby began to come out immediately after, thwarting any plans of making it to the hospital.
Lucas, the only lifeguard on duty at the time, jumped to her feet and ran over to the couple. While the teen had received extensive training for emergencies on deck, delivering a baby was not one a situation she ever imagined.
‘My adrenaline kicked in right then and there,’ Lucas told the Post.
Springing into action, Lucas grabbed towels and an emergency first-aid kit before rushing to the mother’s side. She then used a walkie talkie to alert other staff at the YMCA to the situation, and asked a man who had been swimming laps to help by calling for an ambulance.
About 10 bystanders watched as the young mother, holding her swimsuit to the side while on her hands and knees, pushed out her baby.
‘I was helping support her head, and the husband was helping guide the baby out,’ Lucas said. ‘I stayed calm, and I didn’t freak out, because that’s what you need to do in this job. You can’t really hesitate or wait for someone else to come. You’re the lifeguard; you’re the lifesaver.’
Their son, Tobin ‘Toby’ Rider, was born within minutes.
Lucas then sat back-to-back with Rider to help her sit up straight. Soon after, an ambulance and paramedics arrived and deemed the baby was healthy.
The couple couldn’t thank Lucas enough for her help — and the teen was over the moon to help the pair.
‘I’m so glad the baby is okay, and they now have a new addition to their beautiful family,’ Lucas said, adding that she plans to send Toby birthday cards each year.
The YMCA of Northern Colorado, in a Facebook post, congratulated the couple on their newborn.
‘Yesterday, Y member Tessa Rider went into labor at the Longmont YMCA. Her labor progressed so quickly that — with support from a Y Lifeguard and Tessa’s husband, Matthew — this beautiful baby boy was delivered on the pool deck at the Y before EMS arrived.’
The YMCA added: ‘We want to wish Tessa and Matthew congratulations on their gorgeous little one, and give a big shout out to Natalie, the Longmont Y Lifeguard who helped deliver a baby during her Sunday shift (something surely not covered in the job description).
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