NEWPORT, Maine — Four times Sheila Davis and her fiance, James Farnham, went to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor to have a baby, and four times Sheila’s contractions faded, and they went home.

Tired of false alarms, Sheila was unsure what to think when she began to feel contractions again on the morning of Jan. 26.

“We were tired of being sent home from the hospital,” she said. “I wanted to be sure.”

Then she felt a sharp pain, so she lay on her living room floor and rocked back and forth to relieve the pressure.

“It’s time,” she told Farnham, who busied himself packing up two of their other children for the trip to Bangor.

“With the other [babies, the doctors] had to break my water for me,” said Davis. “My water hadn’t broken yet so I thought I was OK.” But a flurry of nausea came and went — a familiar sign for this mother of five — and Davis knew her unborn daughter wouldn’t wait for the trip to Bangor.

“I told my fiance to call 911,” she said.

About the time Penobscot County dispatcher David King asked Farnham whether Davis’ water had broken, her water broke. She moved to the linoleum kitchen floor and, with Farnham’s help, prepared to give birth.

“I just started pushing,” she said, “because I knew she was coming regardless of whether I pushed or not.” Farnham, still on the phone with the dispatcher, found himself being talked through delivering a baby.

It took three Newport Fire Department personnel — Emergency Medical Technician Amanda Chretien, Lt. Adam Noyes and Lt. Tom Snowman — seven minutes to reach the home. The emergency call came in as Farnham suspected Davis was going into labor, but just seven minutes later little Kylee Lauren was making her de-but in the world.

Chretien, the department’s emergency medical services director, took over with Noyes and Snowman backing her up.

“I started yelling to Adam to get me this and get me that,” said Chretien, herself a mother of two sons. “It was a great team effort.”

The first priority was clearing the baby’s breathing passage and wrapping her in warm towels. With her mouth and nose cleared, Kylee started screaming — a welcome sound that told Chretien the baby was breathing. Chretien handed Kylee over to Davis.

With mother and baby doing well, the beauty of what just happened flooded Chretien and she couldn’t stop tears of joy.

“It was just so beautiful,” she said. “It’s not every day you get to bring life into the world.”

Others in the department also were struck with emotion, said Assistant Chief Rick Turner.

“We’re all just doing our job, but something like this is just a good thing for all of us,” said Turner. “I think we’ll kind of adopt this one.”

Snowman, Noyes and Chretien returned to Davis and Farnham’s home Thursday toting gifts for Kylee.

“We’re planning on this being our last child, and I think she wanted to make sure she was memorable,” said Davis, a medical aide who works in Ellsworth. “She sure accomplished that.”


Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.