Pit stop delivery: Merlin couple delivers baby at gas station

Grants Pass, Ore.– Deanna Roberts never expected her daily pit stop to become her delivery room. But rushing to the hospital Sunday night, she said the baby simply couldn’t wait.

The 23-year-old of Merlin said she went to the hospital earlier in the night in a lot of pain, but was sent home because her contractions weren’t consistent enough. A few hours later, her water broke at home.

Roberts and her husband John Brewis were on their way to the Grants Pass hospital, when the baby started to enter the world, just ten minutes after the water broke. They were right down the road from a Lil’ Pantry and Valero gas station off I-5, where they often run their quick errands.

“I pulled into the Valero gas station as fast as I could And I shouted someone help me, someone help me my wife is in labor! And at first people started kind of looking at me like I was pulling a prank on someone or something,” Brewis said.

But it was no prank, and time was not on their side. As soon as a woman rushed over to help, the helpful stranger and Brewis practically caught the baby.

The high intensity moment was heightened even more when they realized that something was wrong.

“He came out really purple, didn’t scream or anything at first. That’s when I started freaking out the most,” Brewis said.

Right when the panic came, so did another savior. Kya Smylie, the manager at Lil’ Pantry, rushed over with 9-1-1 on the phone.

“The 911 dispatcher had to be like, ‘I need to you calm down I can’t understand what you’re saying,’ and I’m just like I’m sorry, this is the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me,” Smylie said. What was even crazier is that Smylie personally knew Deanna and John.

Luckily, she was able to calm down and provide helpful instruction to Brewis and the stranger who was helping him.

Paramedics arrived within four minutes, but by then baby Jasen was already showing healthy signs.

“I got to cut his umbilical cord in the car, and it was great. Just really cool seeing him smiling,” Brewis said.

Another friendly face was also there to help out with the delivery.

“It was amazing to be apart of that. Right there on pump number two,” said Edward Jenkins, a gas attendant at Valero. “I recorded the time of the birth.”

Roberts said she barely remembers the experience, and while most of it was traumatic for her, she’s happy she ended up delivering her baby at the place she’s been running her errands for most of her life.

“It was really nice to have people who that were comforting, who’ve I’ve known all there to experience the life changing,” Roberts said.

While baby Jasen won’t remember the experience, Roberts said “it’s gonna be a fun story to tell him.”

And he probably won’t ever live it down. Brewis said he and his mother-in-law have already come up with a little inside-joke nickname.

“Lil’ Baby Valero!”

Jasen is the couple’s second child, little brother to 2-year-old Zoie. Roberts said while Zoie was born in a hospital, her water broke while she was in a car.

“I’ve got some car experience,” she joked.

Roberts and Brewis said they wish they knew the other woman who helped them welcome their son into the world that night, but want to extend another thank-you to everyone who was there. They said Jasen is healthy and “already full of so much personality.”

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