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North Idaho woman gives birth at a boat check station on I-90

The woman gave birth inside her husband's truck after her water broke. The baby is named Calvin. Both the baby and mom are fine and healthy.

Primal isn’t necessarily the way most mothers would describe themselves, but for Casey Vincent, that word is now worn as a beautiful badge of honor.

When the Shoshone County woman woke up Friday morning, she was pregnant and began her day as such. By the end of the day, she was no longer pregnant and had lived one of the wildest days that any of us could ever experience.

Casey’s sister-in-law, Toni Vincent, who is also Casey’s doula, had arrived in town the night before and thankfully so, because her skill and expertise were going to be needed in just a few hours, as reported by our news partners, the Coeur d'Alene Press.

“She had been there and been my doula for my last birth, and we knew that we wanted her there again for this next one,” Casey said.

After waking up and going through her morning routine, the contractions really got going, and it suddenly became apparent to Casey that baby was coming — and quickly.

Vincent, who admits to being more on the granola side of things, planned for a water birth, as she had with her second child. As the contractions kept coming — each one quicker than the last — Casey, her husband, Austin, and Toni got the truck loaded and were making their way from their home in the Bear Creek area near Enaville, when the situation became a sooner-rather-than-later event.

Toni had Austin call ahead to the midwife at Dayspring Midwifery in Hayden and tell them to get the tub ready for the birth because the baby is going to come quickly — if they even make it there.

That may have been the first time it was said out loud, but suddenly the gravity of the situation was very present.

“We were headed to Pinehurst to drop our older kids off at day care, but as we headed there I could tell that we were running out of time,” Casey said. “I kept thinking ‘This is fine. They’ll slow down.’ So I’m sitting there in the passenger seat facing the back on my hands and knees with Toni squeezing my hips to lessen some of the pressure from the contractions.

"As we passed the on-ramp to Interstate 90 there to head to Pinehurst, I told Austin to turn around and get on the interstate, we’re not going to make it.”

Austin wisely followed his wife’s instructions. Almost instantly, as they merged into the traffic of I-90, Casey began feeling the urge to push.

Toni sprang into action.

“Toni works in hospitals and is in training to become a nurse and in no way is the same super granola-y person that I am," Casey said. "She had done the home birth with me before, but it was out of her comfort zone. She likes being in the hospitals.

“She was not exactly pumped that I was pushing already in the truck and began coaching me to help me slow down in hopes that I would begin bearing down and pushing.”

That did not work.

Suddenly, Casey’s water broke, and everyone in the truck heard it.

Casey’s two daughters sat in the back, her 3-year-old kind of oblivious to the happenings around her, but her 5-year-old was aware something was happening and that it wasn’t supposed to be happening the way that it was unfolding in front of her.

“I was trying to comfort her between contractions,” Casey recalled. “I could see that she was worried and just tried to tell her that everything was going to be OK.”

Just before the Rose Lake exit, Toni recognized that the time to push had arrived, and there was no delaying it any longer, so she called it: “Baby’s coming out. We need to pull over.”

Austin was about to pull off the freeway and had planned to call 911, but the realization that there was no cell phone service in the area prompted Toni to tell him to keep driving and that there was no real time to waste.

As the beginning of Fourth of July Pass loomed in the distance, Austin had an epiphany.

“The boat check station! They should have a radio that can call dispatch,” Casey said. “So he flies in there, flashers on, and my sister rolls down the window and tells the people working there at the boat check station to call for an ambulance because we’re having a baby.”

The boat inspection crew suddenly had a far more critical task than what they were used to handling, but nevertheless, they stepped up.

One of the ladies working there took Casey’s daughters to the inspector’s shack where they were kept comfortable with popsicles and coloring books.

The rest of the crew stayed on hand if anything was needed.

The plan was to get Casey out of the front seat and into the back seat to have the baby, but once outside the truck, it soon became evident she wasn’t moving anywhere until the baby was born. Casey quickly disrobed from the waist down.

“I can remember Toni calling for towels as well as telling Austin, ‘Do not let me drop this baby!'" Casey said. "She’s standing behind me, coaching me how to breathe and to push and then she caught the baby.”

Prior to the birth, Casey and Austin had elected to not find out the baby's gender, but in that moment right around 9 a.m. Calvin Scott Vincent made his grand debut into the world.

Toni patted the baby to encourage him to begin crying, to help clear his lungs and get him breathing on his own.

Meanwhile, Casey disrobed above the waist, so she and Calvin could share that important skin-to-skin contact, which is probably even more important when a baby is born on the side of the road in the morning hours of what has been the coldest stretch of late May and early June weather in recent history.

“I have no shame. You really don’t care in those moments at all,” Casey said. “There I am totally naked holding this baby that I just gave birth to.”

A blanket and chair were brought over. Casey sat and held Calvin and kept him safe from the elements. Before too long, the ambulance arrived.

“They took us to the hospital, but they didn’t know what to do with us,” Casey said. “We weren’t their patient at all, but they watched us for a few hours and then were allowed to go home that night.”

Clocking in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces and 21 inches long, Calvin and his mama are fine and healthy. Calvin’s sisters are adjusting to life with their new brother, and Austin is happy the odds have evened out a little bit now that the little fella has arrived.

Casey believes that Calvin’s birth certificate reads Cataldo Weigh Station, which will likely be cause for family laughter for the rest of their lives.

“I think it was that he was just so excited to see me that he couldn’t wait any more,” Casey said with a laugh.

Despite what sounds like a very arduous experience, Casey is very thankful.

She’s thankful for her husband and her sister-in-law for being strong in a scary moment.

She’s thankful for the workers at the check station, who did everything they could to make sure that she was safe and comfortable as well as taking care of her daughters when she and Austin could not.

Her thankfulness is tied directly to her faith.

“We want to give all glory to God for his provision and protection in this situation,” Casey said. “We had a lot of people start to pray for me around that exact time of day having no idea that any of this was even going on.”

The Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our partners, click here.

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