BISMARCK, N.D. — It didn’t matter that his mother was in the Wal-Mart parking lot, Diesel decided he was ready to be born.
“That ambulance didn’t stand a chance,” said the newborn’s mother Alesia Medeiros, about the Thursday delivery. “He was coming.”
Despite being born six weeks early and outside a hospital, Medeiros said her son is doing well and is perfectly healthy. He weighed 4 pounds 14 ounces and measured 171/2 inches long.
Medeiros, a Watford City native, was waiting in the truck while her mother-in-law, Robin Anderson, was shopping at Bismarck’s south Wal-Mart last Thursday night. She said her back started hurting so she got out to stretch. When the pain became too much, she dropped to the ground. That’s when she said she was pretty sure she was going into labor.
Medeiros called out to a woman passing by to call 911. Wal-Mart Co-manager Derrick Orr got the call for a “code white,” which means someone is hurt or needs help.
“With a code white, you never know what you're going to come into,” Orr said, but this one turned out to be the best one he has dealt with.
Orr said he was near the door and went out with another manager. As he walked to the parking lot, he was worried someone had been hit by a car. He saw blood and a person lying on the ground. When Medeiros turned toward him, he realized what was happening.
Orr said he has a 16-year-old son of his own but hasn’t seen a baby born since. He went back into the store for rubber gloves. Strangers jumped in to help and the woman on the phone with 911 dispatchers passed along their instructions. Orr has no medical training for delivering babies.
Before Medeiros’ mother-in-law could get back out of the store, the baby was born. Diesel was wrapped in a coat. Orr used his shoe-lace to tie off the umbilical cord as the ambulance arrived.
Medeiros said once she went into labor, she didn’t know what was going on around her.
“The ladies helping were great,” she said.
She said her first thought was panic and wishing her son’s dad, Chris Senff, was there. Senff works in the oil field and was at work when it happened.
The woman who called 911 kept Medeiros calm and let her know how the baby was doing. Others kept her now 3-year-old, Triton, in the truck. Someone else brought a blanket.
After she knew her baby was OK, Medeiros said, she was cracking jokes about her “Wal-Mart baby.” Because of his early arrival, Medeiros and her son now share a birthday.
Orr said he has worked for Wal-Mart for 13 years in several locations and hasn’t had a baby born on his watch before. He said he has heard of similar events at other stores across the country.
“Now we have one,” he said.
Orr and another manager took Medeiros a care package while she was still in the hospital and he said she was in “good spirits.”
“Better than I’d have been,” he said.
Medeiros said the doctors told her there was no medical reason why her son was born early. She doesn’t know when she’ll get to bring him home but visits him every day at the hospital. She said she is thankful for the help she was given by the people in the parking lot, the hospital staff and the emergency responders.
“Thank you to everyone,” Chris Senff said via email. “I’m really happy they are both OK. I guess he (Diesel) just didn’t want to wait for Dad.”