Grace woman delivers baby in parking lot of Lava swimming complex
Weighing in at 6 pounds, 7 ounces and measuring 18 inches long, Koralee Lorna Smith arrived right on time Monday, and her mom, Danielle Smith of Grace, said the tiny girl already knows how to make an entrance.
Koralee was born in the parking lot of the Lava Hot Springs Olympic Swimming Complex, and by the time that emergency crews arrived on the scene, Danielle was already holding her baby girl.
Danielle said her due date was Monday and she had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Tuesday.
“There wasn’t any sign that my labor was starting, and I thought we would probably be talking about starting my labor when I saw the doctor Tuesday,” Danielle said.
So Monday she took her three other children swimming in Lava, but as the family cooled off in the Olympic-sized pool, Danielle said she felt her water break.
“I grabbed the kids and headed to our van, I told them that we had to go because Koralee was coming,” Danielle said.
She buckled her kids ages 9, 8 and 6, in the vehicle, but an intense contraction caused her to get out of the van, and by then it was too late to go anywhere.
“She was already coming, and I had to find a place to sit down so I could catch her,” Danielle said. “By the time my kids got out of the car, I was already holding her.”
The kids yelled for help, and a patron alerted the staff.
Danielle and Koralee were transported to Portneuf Medical Center via ambulance Monday.
Following the delivery, she called her husband, Chad Smith — who is employed at Scoular Grain Company in Bancroft — to give him the good news: Koralee has arrived, and she’s perfect.
“I told him, ‘Well, Koralee is here, I just had her in the parking lot in Lava,’” Danielle said. “Chad told me he didn’t even remember the drive to Pocatello.”
Mom and baby are both doing great, and Danielle said she’s looking forward to telling Koralee about the day she was born.
Danielle said her other children became alarmed when she and the baby had to leave in the ambulance, but lifeguards at the swimming complex bought them popsicles and cared for the children until Chad and Danielle’s sister-in-law arrived to pick them up.
“Everything happened so fast — there really wasn’t any time to be scared,” Danielle said.
Danielle said her brothers and sisters are crazy about their tiny sibling.
“She is such a sweet baby,” Danielle said. “Even in the nursery, all the other babies were crying, and she was just happy and looking around.”
Karen Homstad, manager at the Lava swimming complex, said the birth caused quite a stir at the pool Monday.
A patron told the clerk that a woman was having a baby in the parking lot, and she dialed 911.
“The clerk was a mom and a grandmother herself, and she was glad that she there when it happened,” Homstad said.
The start of the season has been an eventful one for the crew at the Lava Hot Springs Olympic Swimming Complex. Last week, lifeguards rescued a teenage boy from a near drowning at the pool.
Homstad said the boy’s friends dared him to go off the diving board, and even though he couldn’t swim, he did it. Lifeguards went into the pool, pulled him out of the water and performed CPR until EMTs arrived.
“You just never know what’s going to happen — there’s never a dull moment,” Homstad said. “That’s why we train for a variety of emergency situations.”