‘There was zero time’: An Arlington police officer helped a couple unexpectedly deliver their baby at home

"This was not a planned home delivery, so it was a kind of a scary situation."

Arlington police Officer Brandon Kindle stands with Audra McKinnon and newborn Maeve McKinnon.
Arlington police Officer Brandon Kindle stands with Audra McKinnon and newborn Maeve McKinnon. –Courtesy of Brandon Kindle

Three-week-old Maeve McKinnon will always have a story to tell: Her arrival happened so quickly that her parents couldn’t make it to the hospital. Instead, she was delivered at home with the help of a police officer and the EMTs who arrived after him.

“There was zero time,” Arlington officer Brandon Kindle said. “They were trying to make it. … Little Maeve wanted to make an entrance.”

It was after 5 a.m. on May 1 when Arlington emergency personnel received the call: A man reporting that his wife had gone into labor at their College Avenue home. Kindle was nearby and responded.

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Inside, he found Audra McKinnon on the kitchen floor. Kindle said he told Ed McKinnon, Audra’s husband, to grab some towels while he donned a pair of gloves.

Maeve McKinnon —Courtesy of Brandon Kindle

“One good push, and the beautiful little girl was there,” Kindle said. Her umbilical cord was wrapped her neck, but he was able to gently unwrap it. He began rubbing Maeve McKinnon’s back, and the baby began to cry.

“And then the fire department was coming in the door,” Kindle said. “It was lucky timing.”

Baby Maeve and her parents headed to the hospital; she and her mom are doing fine, the department said. She weighed in at 8 ½ pounds.

Kindle, a father of four, said he joked with his kids in the past about wanting to help deliver a baby if the opportunity presented itself. Each year, police officers undergo service training, where they touch up on first responder training, including CPR and using an automated external defibrillator, or AED. Childbirth is one of the topics.

“It’s one of the things they touch on,” he said. After years of attending the annual training, he said he was familiar with how to handle the situation.

“Firefighters don’t make arrests, we don’t put out fires, but sometimes it is what it is,” Kindle noted. “Everybody reacts, and we all have that mentality.”

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The couple remained calm given the circumstances, Kindle said. Maeve is their third child.

“The mom was a 1,000 percent trooper,” he said.

Of those currently on the Arlington force, just two others have helped to deliver babies while on duty, according to Kindle: Chief Julie Flaherty and one of the department’s inspectors. The department gave Kindle a pink stork pin to wear on his uniform.

“And I’m very proud of it,” he said.

The department and Audra McKinnon, who stopped by with Maeve to visit Kindle and snap a couple of photos, lauded the officer for his work.

“This was not a planned home delivery, so it was a kind of a scary situation,” Audra McKinnon said in the police department’s press release. “Officer Kindle was able to remain calm and professional, which was really needed. We’re very thankful he was there with us.”