By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Tynnleigh Hudak is a healthy five-pound baby, but the past 48 hours have been treacherous to say the least.

“Where you think you have time, you don’t have time,” said mother Heather Hudak.

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She was 39-weeks pregnant with her third child when she started feeling contractions at work Wednesday evening.

“I noticed [my contractions] were between four and five [minutes], and when I got here to almost the house, they were about two, three [apart],” Hudak said. “Ran to the bathroom, went downhill from there.”

Wednesday started no different for crews from Centennial Lakes, Circle Pines and Lexington. First responders were just leaving a 9/11 memorial when they were alerted of Hudak’s imminent delivery.

“Some of the other firefighters said that we may have a possible birth, so everybody was pretty energized,” said Lexington Fire Fighter Erick Edwards. “So that point we got in our engine and off to the address.”

Tynnleigh Hudak (credit: CBS)

Firefighter and Medic Mike Malekski said Hudak’s contractions were getting shorter and shorter.

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“We started to see the baby’s head, so we knew that we were gonna deliver right there in the apartment,” Malekski said.

Lexington Fire Chief Gary Grote says he took a cue from Malekski.

“He made the decision by seeing the head’s coming out,” Grote said. “‘We’re delivering here.'”

Centennial Lakes police officers, Lexington firefighters and Allina medics worked together seamlessly to safely deliver Tynnleigh. And the first responders didn’t have long to figure out how to come together. They got the call at 7:10 p.m., and by 7:30 p.m. they were calling back to say a baby had been born — an arrival that was perfectly timed.

“It’s a pretty somber day, so for us … to bring in a new life to this world when so many lives were lost 18 years ago … it’s a pretty special day,” Malekski said.

And it means a lot to Tynnleigh’s family.

“Thank you very much,” Hudak said. “You delivered our daughter and we couldn’t be more appreciative.”

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The first responders will now get a new stork pin for their uniforms, and a new reason to remember September 11.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield