EDEN, Weber County — High school student Morlie Hayes had just learned about labor in her child development class, but she didn't expect to put the lesson to use so soon.
Days later, the 16-year-old is being credited for delivering her baby cousin over the weekend.
"It was an amazing experience," Morlie said, though she had expected to wait a few years before assisting in any birth.
On most Saturdays, Morlie is out with friends, but this weekend she was home while her mom was running an errand. The doorbell rang and her 7-year-old cousin appeared at the door in tears, Morlie recounted Monday.
She said she gasped when the girl told her, "My mom's outside. She's going to have her baby!"
Laura Creager said her baby was not due until May 19, but she went into labor as she was driving one of her children to a friend's house, so she stopped at Morlie's home.
The teen dialed 911 and was listening to a dispatcher's orders to grab towels, a shoelace and a safety pin when she heard a call from another room.
"My water broke!" her aunt cried.
Creager believed she had another hour to make it to the hospital, but her daughter Kayla arrived within minutes.
Morlie moved swiftly, telling her aunt to lie down on her back on pillows and towels. Creager had another strong contraction and pushed, and the baby came right out, she recalled.
Using what she had learned in class, Morlie made sure the umbilical cord wasn't tangled and the child's coloring was good. She said she was extra glad she had scrubbed the bathroom earlier that day in preparation for a visit from her grandparents.
"My 16-year-old niece delivered the baby," Creager said Monday, her eyes wide. "She was amazing."
When the ambulance arrived, Morlie was washing the child off. Paramedics arrived within a moment, took the baby and clipped the cord.
The family says the surprise delivery couldn't have gone any better.
The girl's father, Wendell Creager, was watching a dirt bike racing championship Saturday at the University of Utah when his sister texted him to say the baby had arrived.
He texted her back, saying "liar," thinking she was joking. But he noticed he had other missed calls and raced up the freeway, meeting his wife and baby at Ogden Regional Medical Center.
"It happened the way it was supposed to," he said.
If the pair had been at home together and headed to the hospital, the child would have been born around the time they were driving through a canyon, where there is no cell service, his wife added.6 comments on this story
"We could have been in a dirty car with soccer gear and mud from the Scouts and everything else," she said. "We might not have been able to get a hold of an ambulance. Here, we had everything we needed and we weren't stranded in the canyon alone."
Her other children also arrived quickly, including one within a few hours, she said, but none so fast as their new baby girl, whose birth certificate was signed by Morlie.
The girl's middle name is Faith, Laura Creager said, "because all of us had so much faith and work to get through this."