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Published December 31 2002

Bob Lind column: Neighbors: F-M Ambulance 'angels' help in fast delivery

Has anyone in this room ever delivered a baby?" David Nelson wanted to know.

Nobody had.

But David could relax, even though his wife Shelley was seconds away from delivering.

Because her angels were there.

David and Shelley were Moorhead High School sweethearts. They married. They had a son, Levi, now 3.

They live in Moorhead where David works for Reardon Office Equipment and Shelley is a bookkeeper for Sunmart Foods in north Moorhead.

Quite a few months ago they had, as Shelley puts it, "a planned surprise. We were overjoyed when we found out we were pregnant again."

As the months rolled on, Shelley had a feeling this little one "would be a determined baby; when I bent over, he or she would get mad and kick me."

But that was OK. Shelley really had only one major concern: that she'd be home alone when the delivery time came.

The date: Sept. 19, 2001.

The baby was a couple of days overdue. Shelley was flat out tired of being pregnant. She pushed Levi in the backyard swing. She moved furniture. "I would do anything to have this baby," she says.

Sept. 20, 5:30 a.m. -- Levi cried. Shelley got him settled down. Then she "maybe" had a contraction.

David asked how she was doing. She was fine. So he left to do his other job covering a Forum delivery route.

7 a.m. -- David returned. Shelley's contractions were coming for sure, but were far apart.

Shelley called a MeritCare nurse who told her to wait until the contractions were closer together.

Shelley called her mother, whose name is a delight: It's Delight Swenson. She works at Hetland Ltd., Fargo. But this morning, she said she was coming to be with Shelley.

7:40 -- Delight arrived. And the water broke.

7:49 -- Delight called 911. But Shelley knew there wasn't much time. "The baby is coming!" she said.

David tried to be reassuring. "No, no, everything is fine," he said, "the ambulance will get you to the hospital in time."

Shelley knew better. "Get me on the bed," she said.

Then the baby began to crown.

"At a time like that," Shelley says, "you pray to God He'll look after you, that everything will be all right."

That's when DeAnn Krupich and Shawn Ellingson of F-M Ambulance Service arrived.

"When I saw them," Shelley says, "the fear left me. I knew my angels were coming through the door. I thanked God for sending someone."

DeAnn and Shawn had never delivered a baby before. But they'd trained for it, and DeAnn had two children of her own. So they calmly went to work.

"She pushed," DeAnn says, "had three or- four contractions, and the baby came out. I caught her."

7:57 -- Welcome to the world, Emiley Nelson, all 9 pounds, 5 ounces of you.

DeAnn and Shawn took mom and daughter to the hospital. They were doing beautifully.

Later, the ambulance crew brought Emiley a teddy bear. Later still, Shelley and Emiley went to F-M Ambulance, had DeAnn and Shawn sign the birth certificate and had pictures taken.

Recently, DeAnn and Shawn received a letter and a picture from Emiley, who, at 1 year old, is quite a writer. She wrote, in part:

"Hi guys: As you can see, I have sure changed this past year. I now weigh 22 pounds. I have strawberry blond hair, four teeth and one big brother (mom and dad say he has to stay -- I guess he was here before I was born).

"I don't like to share Mom with him, but she says we have to take turns. I just bite him and that sometimes works.

"I love to climb everything and anything as long as it doesn't move too much.

"Mom and Dad say they can't believe they survived the first year. I don't know, I thought it was kinda fun.

"Thanks again for being there for my Mom and Dad; we're glad you made it.

"Love, Emiley."

Postscript: As the new year comes in, Emiley's mom sends this word to DeAnn and Shawn: Stand by in August.

That's when Nelson Baby No. 3 is due.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, N.D. 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail rlind@forumcomm.com