'The best gift': Sauk Rapids police officers deliver baby after woman goes into labor

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The Ericksons of Sauk Rapids, Minnesota were prepared to celebrate the holidays as a family of three, with their little girl Isabella. Their unborn baby Lincoln, however, had other plans.

He made his entrance more than a week early, and his arrival was an exciting one.

“I’ve watched all the videos and done all the classes, I’ve seen it before, but it never really occurs to you, you’ll be catching your own kid’s head in your bathtub,” said Paige Erickson.

Her baby wasn't due until after the New Year's, but Paige Erickson went to the hospital on Dec. 22 for contractions. When things didn’t progress, she and her husband, Keith, dropped their daughter off at grandma’s house and went home. 

An hour later, they had a situation on their hands.

“I had the feeling that I really needed to push, and he said, ‘Do you think we can go to the car?’ and then was, ‘Nope, we need to go now’ and he called 911 and within a few minutes the police were racing up the stairs and getting ready to catch our son,” said Paige Erickson.

Sauk Rapids Police Officer Nick Bogart and Sgt. Jeremy Welsh were among the first to arrive.

“It was just a standard night, not much was going on,” said Officer Bogart. “We got the call of a woman in labor, so then when we got there, the dad answered the door and said, ‘The baby is coming out.’” 

It was Officer Bogart’s first time delivering a baby. Sgt. Welsh guided him and all Keith Erickson could do was watch as his baby was born in their bathtub.

“[Officer Bogart] said, ‘The head's out’ and all that Sgt. Welsh says is, ‘Get ready to catch,’” said Keith Erickson.

There were a few tense moments following the delivery. Baby Lincoln didn’t make a sound at first.

“I flipped the baby over and tapped him between the shoulder blades to get him to cry and it was one of the best sounds I’ve ever heard in my life,” said Officer Bogart.

“After they got him to start crying it was emotional, it put me to tears,” said Keith Erickson.

Officer Bogart laid baby Lincoln on his mother’s chest - a moment Paige Erickson won’t ever forget.  

“I can’t thank them enough,” she said. “They gave us the best gift of our lives and helped bring him safely into this world.

“That’s what this job is about,” said Sgt. Welsh. “It’s about helping people and in the end having a positive outcome, it couldn’t have been any better.”

The paramedics did arrive shortly after Lincoln was born and got everyone to the hospital to be evaluated. The officers visited the family and little Lincoln the next day 

Officer Bogart’s role in the delivery has since earned him the nickname “St. Nick” around the department.