A woman who gave birth on a secluded Palo Alto street on Monday was aided by residents who heard her scream and saw her running down the street while clutching her newborn child.
The 21-year-old woman gave birth around noon on the 500 block of Everett Court between Cowper and Webster streets. Elizabeth Duncan, 80, was talking to a resident in a nearby apartment building parking lot at the time when she heard two loud screams, she said.
"I looked up and down the road there was a woman with her pants down and there was something dark on her pants. There was blood on Everett Court. I went about halfway down the street and I asked if she needed help. She said, 'Yes. I'm having a baby. Call 911,'" Duncan said.
Duncan ran to her apartment and asked her friend, Bridget Koehler, who was visiting from Alabama, to assist the woman while Duncan called emergency dispatchers. When Koehler reached the street, the woman was running past her clutching something. The woman ran down an alleyway to Everett Street. Koehler and a neighboring man ran after the panicking woman, and Koehler finally stopped her by holding onto her shoulder, she said.
A psychologist by training, Koehler was able to calm the mother, she said.
"She held onto the baby," Koehler said, showing how the woman had clutched the newborn to her chest with the umbilical cord still attached. "She showed me the baby; she wanted me to hold the baby. It was a baby boy. He was crying as she held onto him. She was very loving to him the whole time."
Paramedics and police arrived, and they took over treating the new mother and her baby. Palo Alto fire official Anthony Blakeley said the woman was transported to Stanford Hospital. She and her son appeared to be healthy, he said.