Ham Lake couple gets extra help during roadside birth
Nikki Mickelson was getting anxious with her pregnancy.
She had been to the hospital three times — and was sent back home three times with false labor.
By Sunday, June 24, her baby was a week overdue.
“I was praying my rosary, ‘Please, Blessed Mother, make this go quick and soon,’” admitted the 32-year-old parishioner of St. Paul, Ham Lake.
“Maybe I was praying too hard.”
Baby Veyda Nicole Mickelson did come quick — and a bit too soon.
She was born in her parents’ car on the way to St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul.
In God’s plan
The couple wasn’t interested in their story being shared with the media, but when asked by a fellow parishioner if they would talk with The Catholic Spirit, Nikki agreed.
Nikki and Toby Mickelson were already the parents of three boys — Landen, 6, Greer, 4, and Hollis, 18 months — when the couple learned they were expecting again — unexpectedly.
“We’re a Catholic NFP (natural family planning) family,” Nikki explained. She said she had not detected any of the signs that there was the potential for pregnancy.
“I guess this was God’s way of sending us our little girl.”
Day to remember
Here’s the story of Veyda Nicole’s birthday:
The family had just come home from Sunday Mass when Nikki started to feel contractions. A delivery nurse she phoned said to wait until the contractions were three-to-five minutes apart.
Nikki called her mom — Peggy Hall — to come watch the boys.
About 5 p.m. Nikki and Toby left their home in Blaine and headed to St. Joseph’s in downtown St. Paul.
Contractions started coming a minute apart. “I felt the urge to push, but Toby told me not to,” Nikki recalled. “He was going down [Interstate] 35W south like 85 miles an hour.”
They were still on the highway when Nikki said she felt the baby’s head engage her pelvis — and her water broke.
“We could see the hospital from where we were, but with all the construction we couldn’t tell which way to go,” Nikki said. Toby made a wrong turn and they ended up back on the highway.
That was when Veyda Nicole decided to make her entrance.
“Toby pulled over onto the side of the highway, took his shirt off and wrapped the baby in it,” Nikki said.
They called 911, even more anxious now because the baby wasn’t breathing right away.
“We were slapping the baby on the back, but the 911 dispatcher said to take a pinky finger to swab inside the baby’s mouth to open a breathing passage.”
With the baby breathing and an ambulance on the way, the emergency dispatcher asked if it was a boy or girl.
“We didn’t even know!” Nikki said. “Then we looked, and we went, ‘Oh my God, it’s a girl!”
Another role for the rosary
The story doesn’t end there, though.
The 911 dispatcher instructed the Mickelson’s to tie-off the baby’s umbilical cord.
“Do you have a string?” Nikki remembered being asked.
No. That’s when Toby saw the rosary hanging from the rearview mirror.
He used the rosary to tie the cord off.
“When the ambulance got there they fixed the umbilical cord,” Nikki said, “but in the hospital a nurse said, ‘I’m going to throw away this rosary.’ I said, ‘Oh no you’re not!’”