Dawn Lagassie has five children of her own and has been in the room for the births of others, but nothing could have prepared Lagassie for delivering her own granddaughter on the side of the road Saturday morning.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Lagassie said afterward. “It’s just amazing. It was totally amazing.”

Lagassie’s daughter, Alice Ingalls, and Ingalls’ new daughter were doing well Saturday at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta.

“We haven’t picked a name yet,” Ingalls said.

The baby is the third child born to the 25-year-old Ingalls and her husband, who asked not to be identified.

Ingalls, who moved to Lagassie’s hometown, Vassalboro, just a few weeks ago, went into active labor shortly before 4 a.m. Saturday. She roused Lagassie from her sleep to drive her to MaineGeneral for the delivery.

“I thought we had plenty of time,” Lagassie said.

The baby, however, had different ideas.

“We got to Route 3,” Ingalls said. “That’s about as far as we got.”

She knew the baby was coming as the car approached the Cross Hill Road intersection. MaineGeneral was still several miles away.

“I felt like I had to push, so I called 911,” Ingalls said. “They told us to pull over and that my mom would be delivering the baby.”

Lagassie thought the dispatcher must be mistaken.

“I thought we’d make it to the hospital,” she said. “My daughter told me not to stop.”

Augusta police, in a release posted on the department’s FaceBook page, said for some reason the call ended up in the hands of Lincoln County dispatchers instead of Augusta. Police said dispatchers there “did an amazing job” of giving Lagassie instructions.

Lagassie said her granddaughter was born in the front seat of her new Nissan Rogue.

“I had one leg in the driver’s seat and one leg in the passenger’s,” she said. “It was pretty intense.”

Augusta police Officer Michael Raymond was the first one to arrive, just moments after the 911 call. Sgt. Danny Boivin said Raymond has been with department for a little less than two years.

“The officer was there,” Ingalls said. “He did a very good job.”

Ingalls said Raymond talked to her and helped her remain calm.

“He’s never had kids,” Ingalls said. “And he was a young one.”

The baby arrived within five minutes of the 911 call, Lagassie said, a few moments before Augusta Rescue did. The ambulance crew cut the umbilical cord and took the child and mother to MaineGeneral. The baby, who was two weeks early, weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces and was 19 inches long.

Lots of babies are born on the side of the road in movies and on television, and often a police officer is there to help; but Sgt. Danny Boivin said that in real life, the scenario is a rarity. He said the only training police receive for such an event is first aid. Raymond wasn’t even armed with personal experience.

“I can’t speak for him, but he seemed amazed,” Boivin said.

No mother can forget the birth of a child, but Ingalls said her daughter’s arrival will remain particularly embedded in her mind.

“I’ve seen the videos about it happening, but you don’t think about it,” she said. “Who can say they had a baby in the car and their mom delivered it?”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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