SIERRA VISTA — Katharina Criscuolo’s morning started how it normally does, but turned into one she never will never forget.
She started her paper route for the Herald/Review in the early hours Wednesday morning, when she saw a pregnant woman on the side of the road.
“I know God put me there,” Criscuolo said. “I do my routes backward sometimes, which I did (Wednesday), so this would have been my last stop.”
When the carrier turned on the Calle Lima, off of Ramsey Road in Sierra Vista, she encountered a young woman who was in labor. Criscuolo decided to pull over and ask the women if she needed help and if she had called 911, which she said she had done. Criscuolo helped the woman into her car fully prepared to take her to the hospital. However, plans quickly changed.
“I couldn’t drive her to the hospital because the head was right there,” Criscuolo said. “She was crowning.”
Trying to stay as calm as possible, Criscuolo pulled out her phone to look up the dos and don’ts of delivering a baby outside the hospital. She tried to make the mom, who the Herald/Review isn’t identifying, as comfortable as she could with music, having the heat on and reassuring her through the process.
“I took the baby’s head in my hand and I delivered a baby,” Criscuolo said. “I just didn’t want anything to happen. I was just so focused.”
The baby girl, who Criscuolo said appeared healthy and cleared her nose of mucus, entered the world just after 5 a.m. Wednesday morning in Criscuolo’s two-door Ford Focus.
“I had gloves on while delivering my papers so when I took them off I knew my hands were clean,” she said.
An emergency delivery wasn’t new to Criscuolo.
She said he delivered her son in her house because she went into labor before making it to the hospital. Criscuolo said her experience helped her on Wednesday with the delivery in the car because she had gone through the process of giving birth herself and knew what it was like to not have painkillers.
Shortly after the birth, Criscuolo said the woman’s sister showed up to take her and the baby to the hospital. Criscuolo said she was told they were going to Copper Queen Community Hospital in Bisbee. The Herald/Review was unable to confirm the mom and child checked in to the hospital. Jessica Ogiba, spokeswoman for Copper Queen Community Hospital, said “due to HIPPA regulations we are not able to confirm, deny or give out patient information.”
Criscuolo said if there is an opportunity for a reunion with the mother and baby, who may share her name after the mom asked Criscuolo to spell it for her, she would be happy to know the baby is okay.
“I will never forget this morning,” she said. “It’s all surreal.”