Payson woman talks about giving birth to child in Walmart checkout line

PAYSON, Utah – On Tuesday, a Payson woman spoke about giving birth to her third child in a Walmart checkout line Sunday morning.

Store employees and medics talked about the experience Monday, but on Tuesday, FOX 13’s Aubrey McKay got the full story from Cecilia Rivas, who is recovering from the incident in the hospital with her newborn son, Matias.

Contrary to what was earlier reported, Rivas was not with her husband and family. She was alone, relying on the kindness of nearby employees and customers.

Rivas talked to FOX 13 from her hospital bedside with the help of translator Jose Orlandi.  Because not many people in Walmart spoke Spanish, some of the details were unclear until Tuesday.

“I was really feeling well - I didn’t think I was going to have the baby,” Rivas said.

On Sunday morning, Rivas said show awoke feeling labor pains. However, she figured she’d be going to the hospital later in the day and decided to head to Walmart to pick up last-minute items, leaving her husband with their two children at home.

“So while I was doing that I started getting worse and then I went to pay and I got even worse and all of the sudden I broke water and I felt the head of the baby right then and there,” Rivas said.

Few people around spoke English but they could tell what was happening.

They grabbed towels and held up sheets. By some miracle the customer behind Rivas not only spoke Spanish, but was a former EMT.

“And the lady that was right behind me, the one that spoke Spanish, was like an angel to me because she was the one that helped me bring the baby out,” Rivas said.

Janette Barney, director of labor and delivery at Mountain View Hospital, said it’s lucky that the delivery happened like it did and that a former EMT just happened to be there to help.

Barney added patients are advised to get to the hospital as soon as they have close contractions.

“It’s always better to be safe than sorry but it doesn’t always happen that way,” she said.

Rivas and her son Matias are doing well. But because the baby wasn’t born in a sterile environment, doctors are keeping a close eye on them both.

“We’re keeping the baby on antibiotics right now as a precautionary measure,” Barney said.

Rivas said she is glad she was in Walmart surrounded by such helpful people. And she says her family is relieved everyone is OK.

“It was so quick and so fast - I couldn’t even believe it. I still can’t believe it,” Rivas said.