Two days after Emily Brewer delivered her British literature dissertation to her advisers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the doctoral student delivered a real-life story she will not soon forget: a baby at a bus stop.
Brewer was waiting for a bus with her son Dylan, who is almost 3, on Wednesday when the Ph.D. student saw a pregnant Latina woman in obvious distress.
According to the News & Observer, Brewer, 36, of Carrboro, offered to help but found that the woman didn't speak English and Brewer doesn't know Spanish.
As the graduate student told NBC-17 News, she called 911 and, with her cell phone cradled in her neck, followed the dispatcher’s directions. Brewer had just managed to "ask her in my broken Spanish, 'How many months? She said, '38 weeks,' " when the baby girl arrived inside the woman's loose-fitting pants.
"It was as if she exhaled and gave birth to a baby," said Brewer, whose own labor with Dylan lasted 20 hours.
While Brewer, whose usual specialty is 18th and 19th-century British literature, used a string to tie off the umbilical cord before emergency workers arrived, her own son patiently sat on the bus stop bench.
“It was the most improbable place, with cars zooming by,” said Brewer, adding that Dylan was curious about the "cycle of life experience" because a friend of hers is also due to give birth soon.
The UNC student didn't learn the name of the new mother, who appeared to be 18 to 22 years old, until she and her husband, Patrick, visited her later that evening at the local hospital where she was taken. The woman told Brewer that she named the baby Emily “because she’s an angel.”
“I’m part of her birth story,” she told the University Gazette. “It’s something I will never forget. I don’t speak Spanish, but I speak Mom.”