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Future EMT gets firsthand experience in at-home birth

To the longtime paramedic, the woman seemed unusually calm as she experienced rapidly increasing contractions in the living room of her family’s Braintree home Saturday evening.

“Whenever I said what I was going to do next, she said ‘I knew that,’ ” Johnathon Bobbitt-Miller, 38, remembered with a laugh in a phone interview.

Later, he found out that the first-time mother, Yunyi Chen, 25, had completed EMT training at Boston University just months before she gave birth as the father, her parents, and other family members looked on anxiously.

She was the calmest of the group, “not usually the case,” said Bobbitt-Miller, a 19-year paramedic, currently at Brewster Ambulance Service

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“She will be able to relate to so many patients” when she begins working, he said. “When she tells them she’s been there, it’s true.”

When Bobbitt-Miller arrived on scene at about 8:15 p.m., shortly after police and fire , he knew Chen would not even make it to the ambulance. The risk of her giving birth in the front yard, in a cold winter rain, was too great.

“We’re going to have this baby and we’re gonna have it real quick!” he remembers telling the couple. It was the 10th delivery for Bobbitt-Miller, who has a namesake in Guatemala thanks to a delivery he performed while on a mission trip there.

The Braintree family held their breath as the baby girl’s shoulder at first got caught and she did not make a sound.

“It was beautiful when she started crying,” he said of the baby, named Amara. “Nothing compares to be able help bring life into the world.”

The delivery was extra special because of the way the family was able to experience it together, he said, including the opportunity for the father, Kevin, to cut the umbilical cord.

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“You want me to cut this right in the house?” the paramedic remembered Kevin saying, shaking slightly.

On Sunday, Amara and her mother were in good health and recovering at South Shore Hospital, Bobbitt-Miller said. Shortly after they arrived there, Chen revealed her training and her desire to have an EMS career, he said.

“I was so proud,” said Bobbitt-Miller, noting that he would certainly remember her if she applies for a job at the Braintree company where he has worked for the past two years.

“It’s so important to have compassion and now she will have that firsthand experience.”


Lucas Phillips can be reached at lucas.phillips@globe.com.