Billions served; one delivered
grand county correspondent
“McDonald’s: One billion served and one delivered,” was the winning one-liner heard after a pregnant woman delivered a healthy baby girl in the woman’s bathroom of the Winter Park McDonald’s.
The incident took place during last Sunday’s Veterans Rally, around the time the band “Molly Hatchet” was performing at Hideaway Park.
Christel Short of Colorado Springs, the wife of drummer Scott Short of the band “Inman Brothers,” which had been scheduled to play that day, entered the McDonald’s with her 3-year-old son to use the bathrooms.
Short, in her ninth month of pregnancy with an Aug. 20 due date, said she had been feeling pains that day and thought they were symptoms of indigestion she’d been experiencing.
She’d been to the doctor Friday, the day before the family’s weekend trip to Winter Park to watch Scott play, and the doctor had given her the OK to travel. The one worry Christel had about being in the mountains was “passing out due to lack of oxygen.”
When it was Christel’s turn to use McDonald’s facilities, her son waited outside with husband Scott.
In the bathroom, Christel said she instantly had an overwhelming urge to push, even though her water hadn’t broke.
“I yelled: ‘Oh my God, I’m delivering my baby! I’m delivering my baby!'” she said.
She summoned the woman in the neighboring stall to find her husband and seek help. She also attempted dialing her husband’s cell phone.
Before she knew it, she said, she was standing in a crouched position and her baby was crowning.
“I put my hands there so she wouldn’t drop out,” she said.
When her husband came in, he helped to secure the baby.
A “biker” volunteer firefighter happened to be at the restaurant and “went into action,” Christel said.
Restaurant employee Hermila Castaneda was sent scurrying for towels.
Up until then, other restaurant staff in the busy restaurant had not been privy to the momentous incident taking place in the restroom, according to McDonald’s manager JoEllen Beezley.
Officer Dave Mowery, who’d been on foot patrol at Hideaway Park, and Winter Park Police Detective Amy Zacek-Smith arrived swiftly.
As more of the baby emerged and mom Christel pushed ” on the restroom floor now covered with towels and a sheet that miraculously appeared ” Mowery assisted at the head of Christel while Zacek-Smith attended the delivery.
Mowery noticed the cord wrapped around the infant’s neck.
“The only thing I was thinking about is that I wanted my baby to survive,” Christel said. “I thought I killed her because I should be in a hospital.”
Zacek-Smith immediately freed the cord. Upon her delivery, the baby was handed to Mowery and he provided suction to stimulate the baby’s breathing. Zacek-Smith cut the cord and the baby was wrapped in a towel. Paramedics then whisked the baby to an ambulance.
From that moment, Christel said all she remembers is “my husband’s face, where my son went (a band member’s family was caring for him), and then my whole focus was on her and if she was OK.”
Before Christel knew it, she and baby were at St. Anthony’s 7-Mile Medical Clinic in Winter Park. The baby was deemed fine, a healthy 8 pounds, 4 ounces and 20-inch-long baby girl.
“It was definitely one to check off for the career,” Mowery said, adding that he was grateful both he and Zacek-Smith had gotten there when they did.
From there, they were taken to St. Anthony’s Central in Denver and released the following day.
“It was quite the entrance she made,” Scott said of their newest arrival, named Taylor Winterpark Short.
Before the trip, Christel and Scott had teased about the possibility of having their baby while in Winter Park. Scott had said, “If that happens, we’re naming her Winter Park” ” thus her unique middle name.
According to Scott, Christel keeps apologizing for being the reason the band had to cancel their gig that day.
“I keep telling her she made the weekend,” he said.
Taylor Winterpark already has a list of nicknames, such as “The Little Show Stopper” and “Small Fry.”
“I’ve had a few family members ask me if I had fries with her,” Christel said.
Another asked if Taylor was entitled to free birthday Happy Meals for the rest of her life.
The family, now content at home, said they’d like to thank McDonald’s for lending them “use of their facilities.”
Who knew McDonald’s delivered?
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