Roadside delivery: State Troopers aid in baby’s birth

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

When she’s old enough, baby Jorjha Miree will recite the story of her birth with the greatest of ease.

On Wednesday Reco and Tanya Miree and two-year-old son Chase were on their way to a 3:30 p.m. doctor’s appointment when Tanya’s water broke at their home.

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“I was in the shower and my son said, ‘Get Mommy!'” Reco recalls.

The Mirees hurriedly piled into their green Ford Explorer and headed west on U.S. Highway 80.

“We were by the Subway when she (Tanya) said that the baby was coming,” Reco said. “I called my mama and said we need to do something because she was having a baby. I got off the phone and that’s when

I saw them.”


Alabama State Troopers Kerry Horton and Steven James. The two were wrapping up a routine traffic stop at exactly 3:35 p.m. “when this green Explorer comes by us with flashers on,” said James.

“The guy says, ‘My wife is having a baby!’ Just crazy yelling. And we say, ‘Pull over! We’ll get you some help! Just get off the road!'”

After Horton calls dispatch for an ambulance, both troopers approached the Explorer. Neither prepared for what they saw.

“The lady was crowning. The baby’s head was about two inches out,” James said. “After that we radioed back and told them (the ambulance) you really need to speed it up. So I run to my car to try to find some blankets or towels and I can’t find anything but a new roll of paper towels.”

James continued, “As I’m getting back to the car Reco is crouched down. Tanya’s in the back seat of the Explorer and as we’re getting ready to put some paper towels down, something to catch the baby with, out comes the baby.”

Jorjha (pronounced Georgia) was born at approximately 3:37 p.m, weighing in at seven pounds and six ounces. Reco removed his white Polo t-shirt to wrap the baby in. She wasn’t breathing at the time.

“While Reco’s holding the baby I take a napkin and clean the baby’s mouth as best we can,” James said. “And I tell Reco to turn the baby over and pat the baby on the back.

“And he’s (Reco) wiggin’ out and he’s barely patting the baby. I said, ‘Look man, hit the baby on the back! The baby just hit the floorboard. You’re not going to hurt the baby.'”

And with four or five taps, James said, “the baby takes a big, deep breath and the baby’s crying. I said if the baby’s crying, we’re good.”

Horton and James comforted the frantic Mirees until the ambulance arrived.

Says Tanya, “Everybody in the truck was hollerin’.” Big brother Chase was sitting right next to his mother when Jorjha was born. But once James went to retrieve a trooper teddy bear from his car trunk, “he was pretty calm after that.”

“Reco said, ‘I just thank God I saw them blue lights. I don’t know what I would’ve done.’ And you know most of the time people don’t want to see the blue lights,” James said.

The Aftermath

“They load up in the ambulance and then myself and Trooper Horton are standing on the road. We just had to stand there for a minute. We’re like, ‘Did that really happen?'” James said. “We get trained, but we don’t get trained on how to deliver babies. We are not doctors. It was a blessing the way it worked out.”

“You see it on TV all the time, but who would think you’d get up, put on this uniform and deliver a baby,” said Horton.

On Thursday, Horton, James and Public Information Officer John Reese visited mom and baby at Vaughan Regional Medical Center. Both are happy and healthy.

The Mirees again thanked the troopers for their assistance. Not a problem, the troopers respond. Both cringe at the mention of the h-word – hero.

“We just happened to be the ones in the right place,” Horton said.

“I don’t want all the glory to be necessarily shined on us,” added James.

Jorjha’s grandmother, Debra Miree, begs to differ.

“They all think that they’re the bad guys,” she said, “but there’s a guardian angel side to them.”