MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A western Wisconsin mom says she’s exhausted and excited after a terrifying 24 hours.

Janelle Peterson went into labor Wednesday while she was driving herself and her 8-year-old son to the hospital.

She called 911 and a dispatcher named Shelley Lansing answered.

On most days, the St. Croix 911 Center isn’t exactly brimming with joy.

“Every day there’s calls that they handle that maybe drag them down,” said Terry Anderson, St. Croix County’s emergency communications manager. “Incidents like yesterday are uplifting for morale.”

Janelle’s contractions were five to seven minutes apart.

“The contraction that came through felt like it was a ‘it’s time to start pushing’ one, so I call 911 and Shelley is her first name that was on the other line,” Janelle said.

Janelle Peterson’s baby, T.J.(credit: CBS)

Shelley says calls like these require some imagination.

“When you are dealing with a call like that and you’re not on scene, you have to imagine in your head what’s going on based on what they tell you,” Shelley said.

Janelle says Shelley’s instructions were flawless.

“I had another contraction shortly thereafter which delivered his head out,” Janelle said. “And I did as Shelley told me to do, which was holding my hand there to guide his head through so that he didn’t come too fast and hurt me and himself.”

Janelle credits Shelley, the EMS crew and a deputy, who helped finish the safe delivery and get her here to Western Wisconsin Health in Baldwin.

“Thank you so much for keeping me calm, walking me through it all, keeping my son calm as well,” Janelle said.

Shelley says she does not want the praise.

“We deal with a lot of bad things, so yesterday was good for everybody, it was a happy day,” Shelley said.

She says she does not want the praise. She says she was doing her job and credits the EMS crew, deputy and her fellow
co-workers for making sure little T.J. safely entered the world.

He is expected to go home Friday.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield