Everything about Sadie Yerrington's pregnancy was routine right up until labor started Saturday morning.
EVERETT — Everything about Sadie Yerrington’s pregnancy was routine right up until labor started Saturday morning.
The contractions started rolling in, first gentle, then a little stronger. By the time her mother, Connie Skartvedt, got to Yerrington’s South Everett home, things were getting downright intense. Her water broke around lunchtime, and the contractions started crashing in hard and fast.
It was clear to Skartvedt, a mother of three, that her daughter needed to get to the midwife. Fast.
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“Things progressed really quickly,” she said.
Skartvedt helped guide her daughter on a slow, pain-stuttered shuffle toward the car. For one brief moment, a thought flashed through Yerrington’s head: Maybe she shouldn’t go to the birthing center in downtown Everett. Maybe she couldn’t make it.
She was in no shape to think clearly, so she sank into the front seat of her mother’s Chevy Prizm and told herself: Don’t push, don’t push, don’t push.
Her mom climbed into the driver’s seat and put the pedal to the metal up 128th Street. She had just pulled onto I-5 when her daughter blurted out, “You need to pull over now! Pull over!”
At home, Dad was getting a toddler cleaned up.
Dirk Yerrington, 46, had spent the morning at the park with the couple’s first child, 2-year-old Piper. She had gotten sick all over the car after too many turns on the merry-go-round.
He didn’t think he had any need to hurry. So he didn’t.
Dirk Yerrington dressed his daughter, got her buckled into the car seat, and started toward Everett. He pulled onto I-5 and saw the commotion of a firetruck and an ambulance. Then he saw his mother-in-law’s car at the side of the road.
“I’m like, ‘uh-oh,’ ” he said.
A few miles to the south, state Trooper Jeffrey Leonard heard a call for medical aid crackle across his radio. The dispatcher reported a woman in labor on northbound I-5, just past 128th Street Southeast.
Leonard, 25, had patrolled South Snohomish County for three years for the State Patrol. In that time, he has seen plenty of action. He’d never delivered a baby. Leonard sped to the scene, mentally reviewing what he had learned about difficult deliveries from his academy training.
He hadn’t spent much time around babies. He wasn’t a dad; he wasn’t even an uncle. Any unknown situation can be difficult. Delivering a baby in trouble on the interstate?
Quickly pulls over
Connie Skartvedt yanked the car onto the shoulder of I-5. She hardly had the car in park when Yerrington, 37, felt her baby’s head crown.
“Her head popped out and I told her to call 911,” Sadie Yerrington said.
She cupped her baby’s head gently in her hands. Her mother ran to the passenger side of the car and Yerrington gave one last push — the baby slipped into her grandmother’s arms.
Violet Ann Yerrington, 7 pounds, 11 ounces, greeted the world with one healthy cry on the shoulder of I-5.
Grandma placed the baby on her mom’s tummy and covered her with paper towels. Trooper Leonard beat the ambulance and a firetruck to the scene. He pulled up in his unmarked patrol car and found a proud grandma, a calm mom and a healthy baby.
“From the perspective of a 25-year-old male with no experience with this stuff — I was relieved,” he said.
When dad pulled up moments later, the trooper scratched out the exact location — milepost 186.75 — and time of birth — 12:50 p.m. — on a scrap of paper for dad to keep.
After a brief stay at the hospital, Violet is now home. Her quick birth caused no harm although she needed a little extra warming at the hospital. Her mom still can’t believe what happened.
“That was pretty intense,” she said.
And if they decide to have a third?
“We’ll leave a little sooner,” she said.