Oh, Baby!

Infant arrives in truck along Wilton highway

Keihin White sleeps in his mother’s arms four days after he was born in his father’s truck alongside Route 101 in Wilton.

MILFORD – Michelle Markey was early to pick up her stepchildren at Wilton’s Florence Rideout Elementary School that Friday morning, so she decided to make a little detour onto Route 101.

That’s when she saw a man pacing around his truck, looking at his phone and seeming agitated.

Markey is a nurse, and is trained to notice when things don’t look right.

She pulled into the driveway of the Eastview Condominiums where Orion White had parked his Chevy Silverado. In the front passenger seat, propped on four pillows, his wife, Janella, was giving birth to their second child.

Markey is a cardiac nurse at Tufts University Medical Center, and in her 24 years of nursing, had never helped with a birth. But the baby’s head was already coming through the birth canal, and Orion White was on the phone with their midwife.

The 26-year-old aircraft mechanic admits he was panicking. His wife’s water broke, and “she could feel his head,” he said.

So when Markey told him she was a nurse and asked if she could help, he said, “Absolutely!”

White stayed on the phone with the midwife, conveying her instructions to Markey, who followed them step by step, turning the baby’s head and shoulders and waiting for him to cry.

That took a minute or two, which “felt like an eternity,” Orion White said.

Another driver had stopped and called 911, and an ambulance arrived. On their way to St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, they delivered the placenta and cut the umbilical chord, and Janella began nursing the baby.

By the time they reached the hospital, “There was nothing much to do,” she said.

Markey was only 12 minutes late to pick up the children at the elementary school. When the younger one complained about waiting, she had a story to tell.

“I was glad to help,” she said during a combined reunion and press conference at St. Joseph’s Milford Medical Center with the young couple, their 4-day-old son, Keihin, and their midwife, Adrian Feldhusen.

Markey’s nursing career involves people “at the other end of the spectrum. I see people die all the time,” she said, so this was a nice change.

Earlier that morning on March 24, the young couple had left their home in Rindge and headed toward the Birth Cottage in Milford after Janella told her husband the baby would definitely be born that day, which also happened to be Orion’s birthday.

“At the last minute, I said, ‘Get pillows. This is going to be a rough ride,’ ” Janella said. “I prayed, ‘Dear Lord, make the baby stay in.’ “

Feldhusen, who owns the Birth Cottage, has helped with four deliveries in vehicles during her 25 years as a midwife.

She wasn’t surprised that everything went as well as it did, since the Birth Cottage’s philosophy is one of natural childbirth.

“Historically, babies are born beautifully,” she said.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.