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911 operator talks man through bathroom birth of daughter

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911 talks dad through bathroom birth
  • Lilibeth Vargas is a 911 operator in South Florida
  • In September she took a call from a couple who were having a baby in their bathroom
  • Vargas talked the father through caring for the baby, told him how to tie the umbilical cord
  • Vargas was honored by police department on Wednesday

(CNN) -- Most of the time when a pregnant woman calls 911 she is having some pain, and Lilibeth Vargas tells them to calm down, take deep breaths and wait for paramedics to arrive.

Last month, when a couple in Boca Raton, Florida, called her, it was past that point -- well past that point.

Joanna Drowes, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, went into labor in the couple's bathroom. Her husband called 911. Vargas took the call and asked Bryan Drowes what he saw.

The baby's head, he recalled telling her as the couple met the 911 operator on Wednesday.

Pretty soon Lila Paige made her initial appearance in the world.

"Once I pulled Lila out and had her in my arms ... that's when [Vargas] really stepped up," Drowes told CNN affiliate WPLG. "She came in and said, 'here's what we need to do: make sure [the baby] is breathing, make sure she's crying, clean off her mouth, wrap her in a towel. Keep mom warm, don't forget about mom.'"

Vargas then instructed Drowes on how to tie off the umbilical cord. Paramedics arrived about seven minutes later.

Boca Police Services honored Vargas on Wednesday for her calm instruction.

Read the WPLG story on the bathroom birth