Kids who helped deliver baby describe ordeal

Kids who helped deliver baby describe ordeal

Published March 19, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO – When their mom went into labor with no one else around, a 9-year-old California boy and his 11-year-old sister quickly responded like pros and helped care for their newborn brother.

They also came away with a better story than most older siblings.

"My mom started screaming and then she started bleeding all over her body and then the baby came so I called 9-1-1 for an ambulance," Jabari said Thursday evening outside the family's apartment. "Then my sister told my mom to lie down."

Faith described her conversation with the 911 dispatcher.

"The operator started talking to me and telling me to take a piece of yarn or string and tie it around the umbilical cord and I did," she said. "Shortly after that the paramedics knocked on the door."

Their father, Geoffrey Sanders, said his wife, Alana Sanders, was not available for comment Thursday because she and the baby were resting.

The 36-year-old Northern California woman unexpectedly went into labor at her home in Fremont and was forced to turn to her kids after giving birth while standing in her bathroom.

Geoffrey Sanders, 35, said Thursday he had left for work around 1:30 a.m. and was not around when the baby came on March 9.

He said Faith and Jabari are "much brighter than their age."

"I'm a proud father," he said. "It's kind of a pat on the back that we are doing something right."

In a previous interview, Alana Sanders said her kids stayed composed throughout the ordeal.

"They didn't freak out. They didn't fight with each other," she told the Oakland Tribune.

A 911 recording released Wednesday attests to the children's poise, as they relayed messages between their mother and a dispatcher.

After the baby was born, the dispatcher can be heard telling Faith to wipe the baby with a clean towel and tie, not cut, the umbilical cord with a string or shoelace about six inches from the baby's body.

"You did a great job," the dispatcher says, as paramedics arrive.

Alana Sanders and the newborn, Joseph, were taken to Saint Rose Hospital in Hayward. The boy, who weighed 9 pounds and 4 ounces, was healthy, Geoffrey Sanders said.


Associated Press videographer Haven Daley contributed to this report.

Written by SUDHIN THANAWALA, Associated Press Writer


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