When Chelsea Anderson got home from work Christmas Eve, she suddenly knew her baby was ready to be born.
What she didn’t know was where she was going to give birth.
As the baby’s father, Richard Hammonds, started to drive her to Stony Brook University Hospital. Anderson, 28, of Middle Island, said she couldn't wait.
They stopped in front of the Ridge Fire Department and within a few minutes, Police Officer Kyle Negrin and Ridge firefighter Eric Ramirez helped deliver baby Avion, removing the umbilical cord wrapped three times around his neck.
Wednesday, Negrin reunited with Avion and his parents at Suffolk County police headquarters in Yaphank where they thanked him for delivering their early Christmas miracle.
"It was a very unexpected delivery. I was very nervous and very scared. I was just very grateful to have this man’s help," Anderson said.
Negrin called it the proudest moment of his career.
"Having been involved in multiple incidents, whether it was a fatal car accident, a shooting, a lot of negative things police deal with — this was something nice," he said. "It was a good feeling … bringing life into the world instead of telling a parent they lost a child or such sad news."
Anderson said she was working as a cook Christmas Eve and came home with plans to make dinner and open presents, but soon realized she had to immediately get to the hospital.
Her C-section delivery at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital had been planned for three days later after doctors had seen the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck during an ultrasound.
While she knew she wasn’t going to make it to the hospital in Southampton, she thought she might be able to get to Stony Brook. But the baby had other ideas.
As they pulled in front of the Ridge firehouse, paramedics moved Anderson to the back of an ambulance.
"I kept asking, can we get there faster?" recalled Anderson. "He was not waiting. In the blink of an eye, he was coming. He was ready and I was ready."
"I said his head is coming. He’s coming right now," Anderson said. "He’s definitely a fighter and he’s ready for the world. He’s ready to take it on."
Negrin, 32, and the father of three, said he used his paramedic training and experience from watching his own children be born to deliver the baby.
As Avion appeared, he saw the cord wrapped around his neck. He used his fingers to loosen it in one section, but the rest of it was wrapped even tighter around the baby's neck. As Anderson pushed, he was able to untangle the cord and deliver a healthy 7-pound 5-ounce baby boy. He’s now grown to about 11 pounds.
"I was there for all my children being born and knowing Chelsea did not have that person with her, I kind of knew I had to step up and be that person for her," Negrin said. "Having the experience to do that is unparalleled."