Elisha Wesley turned the bathroom at Oberlin’s homeless shelter into a makeshift delivery room June 14.
Welcoming a new baby into the world always comes with some surprise. But one woman — who asked to remain anonymous — didn’t expect her baby girl to enter the world at Family Promise of Lorain County.
At 28 weeks, the baby was born just after 7 a.m. and weighing roughly three pounds, said executive director Lois Pozega. This is the center’s first birth.
“We’ve had babies born into our program but not born at the day center,” Pozega said. “I got a call saying, ‘You better come right away, there’s a baby being born.’ By the time I got here at 7:30, the ambulance had already come.”
Thankfully, Pozega said, the mother wasn’t alone. Wesley, another mother at the shelter, took on midwife duty and helped keep her calm and deliver the baby.
The mother, not due until August, was convinced she was experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions.
“It just happened so fast that they didn’t even think to call 911. Within a half hour, the baby was born,” Pozega said.
Paramedics took the mom to Mercy Health Lorain Hospital and the premature baby to Akron Children’s Hospital. Pozega said both are doing well.
“You could be homeless in your car or in your tent, but who is there to help you? I’m so glad she was here,” Pozega said.
The mother has found a house and will be moving to Elyria on the first of July. Until then, Family Promise will be the baby’s first home.
Family Promise is a homeless shelter for families with children. Host churches accommodate up to 14 people for a week at a time on a rotating basis, providing food and overnight accommodations.
Guests use the local day center from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., where they meet with a a case manager, pursue employment, shower, do laundry, or attend school.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.