The Richmond Register

Local News

February 15, 2007

‘Oh, my gosh! She’s had the baby’

Father tells dispatcher as pink Cadillac races up I-75

When someone asks Jameson Durham of London where he was born, he can say, “mile marker 67 on Kentucky’s Interstate 75.”

Jameson’s mother, Shonda Durham, 30, was awakened at about 4 a.m. last Thursday by extreme labor pains. Her baby’s due date was Feb. 28, but the mother of two knew this baby would not wait another 20 days.

She called her parents, Elder and Lillian Baker, who quickly came to her house to look after her other two children. Shonda and her husband Rick, 34, then got into her pink Cadillac and headed north. (Shonda is a senior sales director for Mary Kay cosmetics.)

By 4:20, the Durhams were on I-75 racing toward Lexington’s Central Baptist Hospital, where Shonda had planned for the baby to be born.

“I called my obstetrician, Dr. John Looff, and he said, ‘Get to the hospital in Lexington as quickly as possible,’” Shonda said. “Dr. Looff was going to meet us there.”

Shonda, Rick and the baby never got to Lexington, however.

“The pains kept getting worse, coming one right after the other,” she said. “I told my husband I thought the baby would come before we got to Lexington.”

As the Durhams neared Mount Vernon, about 50 miles south of Lexington, Rick called Shonda’s doctor by cell phone and told him her condition.

“My doctor said to call 911 and ask for directions to the nearest hospital,” Shonda said.

Kentucky State Police dispatcher Connie Taylor in Richmond took the call and said Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center in Richmond was the nearest hospital that delivered babies, Shonda said.

Taylor stayed on the phone as she patched the Durhams’ call through to the Pattie A. Clay emergency room.

“I was in too much pain to talk on the phone,” Shonda said. “I had screamed so loud, I lost my voice.”

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