Witnessing the birth of a newborn baby can be the most amazing thing anyone can think of.
This unforgettable experience will stick forever in the mind of one teenage lifeguard after she swung into action to help a couple welcome their newborn by the poolside.
Natalie Lucas, 18, from Longmont, Colorado, has been working as a lifeguard at a local YMCA for the past three years.
On the morning of July 24, while Lucas was on duty, a heavily pregnant woman together with her husband entered the pool area. Lucas carefully watched the lady as she eased herself into the pool’s shallow end.
Tessa Rider was already past her due date when she visited the pool. She and her husband, Matthew Jones, came to the pool a few times that week—to ease the pain of a nerve. The pool was one of the few places the expectant mother felt at ease past her due date.
The mom-to-be was paddling around the pool when she suddenly realized that the baby was about to come out. Lucas noticed Rider looked a little bit off as she climbed out of the pool—she went over to check if everything was alright. That’s when Rider’s water broke right there on the pool deck. Before she could process what was happening, she was already in active labor.
“I walk over and Matthew, the husband, he says to me, ‘We’re having the baby right now.’ I’m like, ‘OK!’” Natalie recalled. “Adrenaline kicks in right then and there.”
Jones called 911, but as he was talking to the operator, Rider was already pulling her bathing suit off and that’s when he noticed the baby was crowning. He realized it was too late. Lucas quickly notified the front desk and then grabbed as many clean towels as she could carry. Throughout the incident, she remained calm and cared for Rider.
“I knew I needed to stay calm and level-headed,” Natalie said. “The couple was very calm about it all while it was all happening, which kind of surprised me. So I made sure to keep my head on and stay with them, keep asking them questions, keep them focused on the baby and [make sure] that they [were] the most comfortable.”
Five minutes later, Jones held his newborn son as he was born on the pool deck.
After working with the dispatcher, making sure that the baby was breathing properly, Lucas used her back to support the new mother while waiting for the paramedics to come. Once they arrived, baby Tobin Thomas Rider received a clean bill of health.
The new parents were just grateful that Lucas was there to help when they needed an extra set of hands.
Lucas is glad she was at the right place and at the right time to welcome a new life to this world. She will be heading off to college at San Diego State University in the fall.
“It’s definitely something I will never forget and I will tell the story many years in the future,” she said. “But this experience has definitely opened my eyes and kind of [made me] realize just how amazing women can be … like, wow, that anything can really happen and it’s pretty cool to experience that with someone and be there with them.”
The couple intends to stay in touch with Lucas going forward. They probably remain friends after the unforgettable experience.