'Miracle moment': Baby born at Woodbury church service

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Police officers routinely plunge into life-and-death situations, many of which end badly.

So it was an inspiring moment on Sunday for several officers who responded to a church service to find a 22-year-old woman who had just given birth, the Pioneer Press reports.

It was a rare "miracle moment" in the career of police officers, Woodbury Police Sgt. Curt Zacharias told the newspaper.

Police were called early Sunday afternoon to East Ridge High School, which is being used by Eagle Brook Church until its Woodbury branch opens. The woman had gone into labor and the baby boy came quickly – members of the congregation helped deliver the child in a restroom stall. Police found the mother sitting on a toilet and holding the infant, the Pioneer Press reports.

Woodbury Police Sgt. Alanna Kopel, who is also pregnant, checked the baby's vital signs and attached an umbilical clamp. Moments later, she whisked the baby out and announced to anxious parishioners that the child was OK. They cheered.

"He opened his eyes and looked right at me. It was an amazing thing," Kopel told the newspaper.

Both mother and child are said to be in good condition, the Pioneer Press reports.

The woman joins several other new Minnesota mothers who will have colorful stories to tell their children about how they arrived in the world.

Last fall, a pregnant St. Paul woman, an avid cycler, gave birth after biking to the hospital.

Also last fall, several Eagan police officers helped a woman give birth in her bathtub when there was no time to get her to a hospital. Officer Aaron Machtemes helped revive the baby, which was “gray and not moving at all” after he was born, and he called it his greatest moment yet as an officer.

And in Woodbury last summer, a mother went into labor on the way to the hospital and gave birth on the shoulder of Interstate 94 near Century Avenue.

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