With Cape newborn not breathing, neighbor steps in to help

Skylar Rodericks was having a typical Tuesday morning when she saw a Facebook message from her West Yarmouth neighbor: The neighbor’s expectant daughter-in-law, Kaitlynn Hallifax, 20, was having contractions and the two were waiting for Kaitlynn’s sister to arrive before heading to the hospital.

“But 15 to 20 minutes went by and I didn’t see a car yet,” Rodericks, a 28-year-old Wellfleet police dispatcher and Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District bus driver, said by phone Thursday. “The roads were really bad, and we had about 7 to 8 inches of snow, so I took my kids across the street to see what was going on.”

When she arrived, Hallifax’s contractions were coming seven minutes apart, and she encouraged them to go to the hospital. But the neighbor, Dominga “Melody” Tierouz thought they’d end up waiting in the hospital for hours.

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Within five minutes, Rodericks said, Hallifax’s face started to go white as her contractions came hard and fast. Rodericks and her neighbor, Tierouz helped Hallifax get dressed so they could head for the hospital, but only made it to the front door before Hallifax exclaimed, “I need to push!”

Rodericks told Tierouz to call 911, and Hallifax lay down on a bathroom floor.

“We pulled off her pajamas and the baby’s head was literally there,” Rodericks said. “It was amazing.’’

By the next push, the baby—a little boy—was out. But his face was blue, and he wasn’t crying.

“I started rubbing his back, but his air was blocked and we needed suction,” Rodericks said. “Next thing I know, I'm suctioning it out with my mouth. As soon as I did that, the baby started crying.”

Paramedics arrived several minutes later and gave Rodericks the tools to clip the umbilical cord before transporting Hallifax and the newborn to Cape Cod Hospital. Both were healthy.

Rodericks received an honor for her fast thinking: she was named the baby’s godmother.