JEROME — Baby announcements are all about statistics: What time? What date? How long? How heavy? Alyssa Ruiz and Thomas Turner can go one statistic further when they announce the birth of Anderson Paul Turner.
The healthy baby boy with a full head of hair was born at 1:03 a.m. Monday, March 27, 2017. He weighed six pounds and 11 ounces, measured 18 inches long and was born at mile marker 172, according to the Times-News.
Ruiz, 25, and Turner, 23, of Twin Falls were on their way to Jerome early Monday where Ruiz planned to give birth to the couple’s third child with the help of a midwife. Little Anderson had other plans, though, and was in a rush to meet his parents. As Turner pointed the couple’s Dodge Durango west toward Jerome on Interstate 84, Ruiz grabbed him by the arm.
“Pull over,” she told him. “My body is pushing, I can’t help it.”
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Turner told Ruiz to calm down and take deep breaths.
“I was panicking a little bit,” Turner remembered Tuesday. “I trusted her because she’s had two kids before, but I was also wondering if I should trust a woman in labor. Maybe she was just being irrational from the pain.”
But as Turner slowed the SUV, he looked toward Ruiz.
“She’s not joking,” he remembered thinking, “This is for real.”
The giveaway? Their baby’s head was already out.
Turner’s first thought was to slow down quickly but not slam on the breaks. “She was practically squatting at this point, I didn’t want her flying through the windshield,” Turner said. As he jumped out of the vehicle, raced around and reached the passenger door, Ruiz gave one last push.
“I opened the door, and out came the baby,” Turner said. “He kind of just plopped on the seat of our car.”
Ruiz was the calmer of the two. She’s tough, having given birth without epidurals to the couple’s first two children. After delivering her baby on the side of the interstate, she kept cool as Turner went into a “mental block.”
“I grabbed him and I didn’t know what to do,” Turner said. “Alyssa said ‘hand him to me.’ She was calming me down.”
They wrapped mother and son in a blanket and towels and Turner called 911.
“She asked, what’s my emergency? I said, ‘I’m on the side of I-84, my wife just gave birth to our baby.’”
Turner credited the dispatcher with helping calm him, though he balked at her suggestion that he cut the umbilical cord before paramedics arrived. Jerome sheriff’s deputies and Idaho State Police troopers were first on scene, and Magic Valley Paramedics arrived about 15 minutes after the birth. The paramedics helped Turner cut the cord before taking Ruiz and her newborn to the hospital.
“Both of them turned out great,” Turner said from his home Tuesday where Ruiz and baby Anderson were resting. “Absolutely nothing was wrong, the baby came out perfectly fine.”
“It was an eye-opening experience,” Turner said, to see Ruiz give birth outside a hospital without any assistance.
It’s also one they’ll never forget, not when they get in their Durango, and especially not when they pass mile marker 172.