After Charlotte Fatoma began having contractions at nine months pregnant, she opted to drive herself to the hospital but reportedly found herself in the middle of a traffic jam. Luckily, she was able to get in touch with Philadelphia-area 911 operator Elyce Rivera, who coached the new mom through her labor and delivery while Fatoma’s car was on the side of the road, according to Today.
Meeting up weeks later, the new mom asked her to be her baby girl’s godmother, to which she enthusiastically accepted.
When Charlotte Fatoma suddenly went into the final stages of labor while driving to the hospital, 911 operator Elyce Rivera coached her through delivering her own baby in her car by the side of the highway. @SheinelleJones reports as the two women meet for the very first time. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Yz3gNYJrnP
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 14, 2021
“When I dialed 911, this lovely lady picked up. She was like, ‘911, what’s your emergency?’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I don’t know. I think I’m in labor.’”
Fatoma recalled the experience to Today. “Contractions were coming two minutes apart, and it was to a point where I couldn’t bear it anymore. And she was very calm, so that kept me calm.”
River reportedly shared the tale about aiding the then-pregnant woman through her delivery, “When that call came in, I thought she was in a car accident because she was panicking and she just, she was scared,” continuing, “She’s just screaming. So what I told Charlotte was that everything she’s feeling, her baby is feeling. And I didn’t want her baby to go into distress. So that’s why I kept telling her, ‘Just take deep breaths.”
According to Today, Rivera also told Fatoma to pull her car to the side of the road, gave her instructions on positioning herself in preparation for delivery and coached her throughout the process. An ambulance reportedly arrived on the scene around the same time that she gave birth to her newborn girl.
In addition to giving Rivera the honor of being her child’s godmother, Fatoma also gave her daughter the middle name Elyce, forever connecting her to the friendly operator who helped bring her into the world.