What at first seems like bad timing can sometimes turn out to be fate. That was the case for three Atlanta women who happened to all be in the same Target one afternoon.
When an emergency situation struck, they realized they were put there for a reason.
Lisa Bozeman was shopping in Target with her daughter, Caris Lockwood, who happened to be a labor and delivery nurse at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. She had taken an interest in her daughter’s field and even hoped to one day deliver a child with her.
So when she met Tanya St. Preux, who was heavily pregnant, in the aisle of the store, she struck up a friendly conversation with the stranger.
But as they spoke, Lisa sensed something might be wrong with the expectant mother.
“I saw a very pregnant woman who looked to be in pain,” Lisa told FOX 5 Atlanta. “She mentioned that she needed to get a few things, then ‘might’ go to the hospital to be checked since her contractions seemed to be getting strong.”
But Lisa’s daughter happened to be in the store shopping with her, so she decided to call her over for some medical expertise.
At first, Caris just assumed her mother was being a busybody.
“I was just trying on some shoes,” she recalled to FOX 5, “And my mom kind of motioned me over to see her, and I thought she just wanted me to say hi, because I’m a nurse.”
“And I was thinking ‘Mom, just let this woman shop in peace.’”
But she wasn’t shopping in peace—she was suddenly in serious labor pain!
“I think I was trying to tell them, ‘The baby’s coming now,’” Tanya told FOX 5. “But instead I said ‘I want this baby out NOW!’”
Caris examined her and confirmed—this baby was about to come out. She and her mother tried to take immediate action to get her to the hospital ASAP.
“We urged her friend to go ahead and bring the car to the entrance and we were helping her to the car,” Lisa told FOX 5. “Her contractions and pain were increasing as we walked with her to the car.”
“Just when we got outside the store her water broke.”
Luckily, she happened to have a nurse on hand—who helped deliver the baby right there on the spot.
Also lucky: Target had all the supplies they needed, like sterile gloves and towels.
“This was the first time I delivered a baby standing up,” Tanya told FOX.
“And outside, and not at the hospital. And with a crowd.”
But it was a seamless, successful delivery—just 20 minutes after the women had struck up their conversation!
Caris caught the baby and wrapped him up in a towel before paramedics even arrived: a baby boy named Maleek.
Tanya was extremely grateful to Caris—not just for sparing her from an extremely painful trek to the hospital, but for her care and professionalism while delivering her baby.
“Caris was God-sent and amazing,” she told Piedmont Healthcare. “She was sweet and caring and exceeded everyone’s expectations.”
“She went way over far and beyond.”
Likewise, Caris praised Tanya for her strength—and was just glad she happened to be there.
“The mom is amazing,” she told FOX 5. “She did so well and I was glad I could help.”
“God is good. He put the right people in the right places at the right time.”
The two families have remained close since fate threw them together.
“We feel so blessed to have been part of this,” Lisa said. “We have visited the family at the hospital and their home, and plan to have a lifetime of friendship with them.”
“We love that they are calling us family!”