Human Interest

YMCA lifeguard jumps into action when mom goes into labor at the pool


Natalie Lucas, a teen from Longmont, Colorado, had an unusual situation during her routine lifeguarding shift at the YMCA on July 24 when she helped a mom deliver a baby.

Tessa Rider and Matthew Jones arrived at the pool because Rider, who was nine months pregnant, found that the water helped to alleviate her pregnancy discomfort. However, shortly after they arrived, she realized she was in labor.

“She looks at me and says, ‘We need to go,’” Jones told TODAY Parents. “Tessa has barely made it out of the pool, she’s like two, three steps from the rail. She’s on all fours and she’s visibly in pain and also in the middle of the contraction.”

Lucas noticed the couple and approached to see if they needed help. “I was like, ‘This doesn’t look great. Let me go over to see what’s happening,’” she said. “I walk on over to them and they say, ‘We’re having the baby.’”

Lucas immediately had someone call 911, and then offered assistance to Rider — grabbing towels and a first aid kit — as little baby Tobin (“Toby”) was born right at the YMCA pool.

“I was helping support her head, and the husband was helping guide the baby out. I stayed calm, and I didn’t freak out, because that’s what you need to do in this job,” Lucas told the Washington Post. “You can’t really hesitate or wait for someone else to come. You’re the lifeguard; you’re the lifesaver.”

READ: Supermom goes into labor during bar exam, gives birth, and completes exam

Jones credits Lucas for the help she offered. “I would not have traded Natalie for anybody in that situation,” he said. “I’m just so thankful that she was a part of that, and that she supported us the way that she did.”

“Without her, I would not have been able to safely focus my attention on making sure, you know, Tobin came out and he was safe and healthy,” he added.

Lucas said she will forever remember this experience. “I’ve always seen childbirth in movies and the TV shows, but never the real thing. It was definitely eye-opening,” she told TODAY Parents. “It’s something new and amazing that’s happening to this family. That’s wonderful — but also crazy.”

She also noted that she plans to send Toby annual birthday cards. “I’m so glad the baby is okay, and they now have a new addition to their beautiful family,” she said. “I was really happy to help them.”

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