Every day officers are tasked with making split-second decisions to ensure the safety of those they serve.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Officer M. Brennan is no different. On Thursday, March 24, while directing traffic during an off-duty assignment, she saw a woman frantically waving her down and she quickly ran over to see how she could assist.
She soon learned that the woman’s sister-in-law, Halima Mukoma, was in labor in the backseat of a vehicle and was about to give birth. Quickly jumping into action and putting on gloves, Officer Brennan instructed the mother to push – and with one push, the baby was delivered.
The now-mother-of-three shared with CMPD that she was having contractions earlier in the day, but knew it wasn’t quite time to go to the hospital. By mid-afternoon, Mrs. Mukoma noticed that her contractions were stronger, and it was indeed time to go to the hospital.
While getting in the car with her sister-in-law, Mrs. Mukoma’s water broke. Still en route, she realized the baby was coming and they wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time. So, her sister-in-law pulled over on N. Tryon Street and waved down Officer Brennan.
“It’s OK, mama, you’re doing great! I want you to give me a push,” said Mrs. Mukoma as she recalled Officer Brennan’s instructions. Once delivered, the baby was then placed on Mrs. Mukoma’s chest for skin-to-skin contact. Soon after, Emergency Medical Services and the Charlotte Fire Department arrived to assist.
During the excitement, the baby was wrapped in a colorful blanket decorated with soccer balls and flags from countries around the world. Mrs. Mukoma kept the blanket as a token of the day’s events and to one day tell her baby girl the story of her birth.
Weighing in at six pounds and 12 ounces, we are happy to report Salima Hamadi is a healthy and beautiful child.
“This is something I will never forget,” laughed Mrs. Mukoma, “I will always remember. Every time I think about her birth, I will remember this. I’m really grateful.”
Officer Brennan, Mrs. Mukoma and baby Salima were reunited two weeks later. “Thank you so much, I appreciate everything. It means so much to me,” said Mrs. Mukoma to Officer Brennan.
“I’ve never helped to deliver a baby, it was very surprising to me as well,” said Officer Brennan. “It seemed kind of natural. I didn’t panic because I knew it was happening, and when I came over, I could see it was go time. It all happened in less than a minute.”
Officer Brennan and her family gifted baby Salima with a blanket and a giraffe rattle.