Few of us have as auspicious a beginning as Brittney Lee Dominguez.
Brittney came into the world at 6:19 a.m. Friday, in the back of a speeding ambulance, lights and sirens blaring."On a scale of one to 10, it was a perfect 10," said Salt Lake County paramedic Troy Prows, who delivered the little girl. "Perfect cry, perfect baby. A beautiful little girl. It was awesome."
The ambulance driver, who Prows could swear was clocking 80 mph on the way to Pioneer Valley Hospital, pulled over near 5600 West and 3500 South so Brittney's umbilical cord could be cut.
It was the sixth baby for mother Maria Dominguez, 28, who now has three girls and three boys.
But it was a first for Prows, 34, whose own daughter was delivered by Caesarean section four years ago.
"When I was in paramedic school in labor and delivery up at St. Marks I delivered five, but that was with a doctor's help. This was the first one on my own."
Paramedics got Maria Dominguez's call for help about 6 a.m. She'd been in labor for about an hour and had been trying to contact her husband, Juan, 34, at work, without success. Instead, she dialed 911.
"Her contractions were about one minute apart and lasting about 40 seconds. I knew right away we were going to have a baby pretty quick," Prows said.
He and his partner, Susan Eckroth, carried the woman to the ambulance on a chair, put her on a gurney and hit the gas pedal for the hospital.
Within minutes little Brittney was pushing her way into the world.
"I was getting her prepared for delivery and about to give her an IV, when she had one really good contraction and the baby's head came out," Prows said.
Then he gently wiggled and tugged to get the baby's shoulders free and guide her into the world. Wiping her clean, Prows wrapped Brittney in a blanket and laid her on her mother's chest.
"She started crying right away. It puts a knot in my throat," said Prows, who admits to being a bit nervous while waiting for Brittney's first real breath.
"Everybody's patting me on the back, but I really didn't do anything, Mom did all the work," Prows said. "She was tough. She wasn't crying or screaming. And it must have hurt. I can't even imagine."
Mother and daughter - both now settled and cozy in a room at Pioneer Valley Hospital - are doing fine. Brittney weighs 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and is 21 inches long, has lots of brown hair and big brown eyes.
"She's beautiful and in perfect health," labor and delivery nurse Delores Ochoaa said. "(Prows) did all the right things."
As for Dad, he made it home just as the ambulance was leaving for the hospital and had to follow along behind.
"I was surprised when we got to the hospital and there was already a baby," Juan Dominguez said.
For Prows it will be a red-letter day in his career that he won't soon forget.
"As a firefighter and paramedic, you're exposed to so much tragedy, anguish and devastation sometimes," he said. "But it's days like today that put a knot in your throat because you're happy that make it worth it."