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State trooper helps deliver baby girl on Boston sidewalk

 State Trooper Michael Close at Massachusetts General Hospital Friday, hours after helping deliver Alanna Juliet.

MGH

State Trooper Michael Close at Massachusetts General Hospital Friday, hours after helping deliver Alanna Juliet.

A Sharon woman gave birth the old-fashioned way Friday morning.

“It was outside, and I had no drugs,” said Heidi Cheerman in an interview by telephone Friday afternoon. “It was pretty much as natural as you can get.”

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Cheerman and her husband, Andrew, were on their way to Massachusetts General Hospital to have the baby early Friday morning, when things took an unexpected turn.

“I told my husband, you have to pull over, I’m about to have this baby,” said Cheerman. “And I got out of the car, pulled down my pants, and lay on the sidewalk.”

State Police trooper Michael Close was winding down his paid detail near Charles Circle in the West End when he was approached by the frantic couple about 5:15 a.m.

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“When you see a woman screaming like that, your mind races,” Close said at a press conference at the Milton barracks Friday. “But she just kept saying: ‘I’m having a baby! I’m having a baby!’ ”

They were just 200 yards from the hospital, where Cheerman works as a physical therapist, but Close said there was no time; it was up to him to deliver the child.

“She sat down, and I saw the baby’s head had already breached,” said Close.

The 35-year-old trooper grabbed his medical bag and some blankets from the back of his cruiser and told Cheerman to give one big push.

A few minutes later, a healthy baby girl was born, right on the sidewalk, Close said.

“I wasn’t even concerned about me — I was laying half-naked on the side of the road with cars driving by,” said Cheerman. “I just wanted to make sure my daughter was OK. It was all about her.”

Emergency Medical Service workers arrived in an ambulance, cut the umbilical cord, and took mother, father, and baby to the hospital. The whole incident lasted about 20 minutes, but “it felt like forever,” Close said.

Close said the parents handled the birth well, despite the unusual circumstances.

“She was scared, but she stayed strong,” said Close. “And the father was being brave for her.”

Cheerman, now a mother of two, said she considered stopping at a closer hospital, but thought she would make it to Massachusetts General Hospital. She said when she gave birth two years ago to her first child, Lillian, it was also very quick.

“But I made it to the hospital that time,” she joked.

Close, also a parent of two, said he paid extra attention during the birth of his own children, just in case a situation like this ever arose. State troopers also receive training on how to deliver infants.

State Police Sergeant Mike Rafferty said the Milton barracks team delivers three or four babies per year, but this was Close’s first time.

“You’d be surprised, but it happens,” said Rafferty. “Usually, you say something like, ‘Are you sure you want to have this baby here?’ and they say no and go to the hospital. But sometimes it is unavoidable. I think Trooper Close did a fine job.”

Close stopped by the hospital Friday to check on the couple and meet baby Alanna Juliet. Cheerman said she and her husband teared up when the trooper walked through the door.

“He was just so amazing and calm,” she said. “We are forever grateful.”

Close said he felt energized from the morning’s activities.

“Most times after an overnight detail you feel a little sluggish,” said Close. “But not today. I’m happy and just keep smiling.”

Cheerman said she hopes to keep in touch with Close.

“We’re going to have Alanna’s first birthday out on Storrow Drive,” she joked. “Michael will have to be there.”

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera
@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @jacktemp.
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