MONTROSE — Glendale Fire Department Paramedics began their trip to Verdugo Hills Hospital on Monday morning with one patient but arrived with two. Along the way, Lia Morgan Cappiello was born.
Chantel Cappiello, pregnant with her second child and a week past due, began to have what she thought were light cramps. She told her husband they should head for the hospital.
“We were in our van about to get on the freeway at La Crescenta Avenue,” Cappiello said.
In their van and headed to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Los Angeles, her pain became more like labor. That’s when her husband, Chris, decided to call 9-1-1 and drive back to their home.
Glendale firefighter paramedics arrived a short time later after getting the call at 7:25 a.m., said Capt. Vincent Rifino.
Paramedics assessed Cappiello’s condition and determined the birth was imminent.
“They just didn’t realize how quickly,” Rifino said.
At first Paramedic Brian Butterfield, along with Paramedics Wayne Runcie and Brain Murphy, thought they may have to deliver the baby in the front seat of the couple’s van but instead decided to transport her.
“The husband told us his wife’s first labor took a long time, but this one was really fast and extreme. We delivered her in the ambulance,” Butterfield said. “She cried within the first five seconds and pinked up quickly. That took our anxiety down.”
The baby’s delivery was a bit surreal for Chantel Cappiello.
“It was a horrible, amazing thing. In hindsight it was neat, but while it was going on, I didn’t know what to think,” she said.
Lia was born healthy at 7 pounds 2 ounces. Mother and daughter were doing well Tuesday at Verdugo Hills Hospital.
“[The paramedics] were wonderful people, so calm, and that is what I needed at the time,” Chantel Cappiello said.