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'We're not gonna make it': Carbon County couple delivers baby on Highway 212

Jamie Joe Powers
Posted at 4:04 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 19:43:10-04

LUTHER — Jamie and Joe Powers wanted a different birthing experience with their soon-to-be daughter Kinsley, so they chose a new birthing suite inside Willow and Sage Midwifery in Billings. It no doubt would have been a beautiful, calming place to welcome Kinsley into the world.

But she had other ideas.

"(Our midwife) asked if we thought we were going to make it," Jamie said. "I said no, we need to turn around."

About six hours earlier, Thursday, April 28, was shaping up to be a pretty normal one.

"The contractions weren’t that close together," Jamie said. "We have time. This is going to be fine."

Then around 11 p.m., things changed.

"We need to go and go really fast," she told husband Joe.

So the Powers loaded up in their white Chevy Tahoe - with soon-to-be big sister Addie tucked into bed with grandpa - and headed toward Billings, passing right by the Red Lodge Beartooth Billings Clinic where Jamie works.

"I even made a joke that we should stop, I’ll ask the doc for pain meds and then we’ll keep going," Jamie said.

Powers white Tahoe
Joe Powers was driving his white Chevy Tahoe with wife Jamie in the passenger seat as she went into labor on Highway 212 just east of Roberts.

Twenty-five miles later in Joliet, the Powers called midwife Ashley Jones and said they aren’t making it to her.

"We actually prepared for this," Jones said, "because ironically the last couple of appointments, (Joe) was very worried this was going to happen."

Jamie decided it was better to go back to the Red Lodge clinic then on to Billings, but the couple couldn’t have prepared for the next part.

"I was going as fast as my vehicle went, which is 98 mph," Joe said.

Unfortunately for Joe, that’s illegal, and he was immediately pulled over by a Carbon County sheriff’s deputy.

"He walks up to the window, and I say to him, 'We’re literally about to have a baby sir,'" Joe recalled. "He looks at me, then he looks at Jamie who can't sit still because she's in so much pain and discomfort, then he tells us to watch our speed, watch for deer, and be safe."

With the deputy trailing about a quarter of a mile behind, Joe gets back on Highway 212, but about 1,000 feet short of Roberts at mile marker 83, Kinsley wasn’t waiting anymore. Joe pulled over and walked around to the front passenger door with Jones on speaker phone.

Highway 212 mm83
Jamie and Joe Powers pulled off Highway 212 at mile marker 83 on the night of April 28 as Jamie was ready to give birth to daughter Kinsley.

"I had the dome light on, my hazards on, some heat going," Joe said. "I had put some towels behind me and turned my seat heater on so they would be warm."

The deputy then showed back up, sent a radio call in for an active labor, and got another car on scene to block most of the westbound lane for any oncoming traffic. Now it was up to the Powerses.

"There was a moment, right before (Jamie) started pushing, that I was shaking," Joe said. "I knew I was nervous, but you just act on the situation and make it happen. We could see the head, and then Jamie pushed one last time and the baby came out so fast I had to move back and match her speed coming out to catch her."

"I didn’t even hear a peep out of Jamie," Jones said, guiding the couple on the phone as she was driving to the scene. "She was so controlled and her body did what it’s supposed to do."

"The whole goal was to have him catch the baby anyway," Jamie said. "Aside from the location, everything was perfect. It was exactly how we wanted, just not where we wanted."

A healthy Kinsley was born just after midnight, specifically at 12:04:55 a.m.

"The deputy called it in right when the baby came out," Jamie said, "so he was able to check later to see exactly when he called."

Powers deputies
Jamie Powers (far left) and husband Joe (second from right) pose for a picture with Carbon County Sheriff's deputies that provided help and safety on Highway 212 around midnight on April 29 as Jamie gave birth to daughter Kinsley.

The group then moved to the Roberts school parking lot where Jones met them, checked Jamie out, and the now four convoyed back to the birthing center in Billings.

"We got the baby in the car seat, and I remember saying, 'We’re going to do this all out of order,'" Jones laughed.

"This time is special, but it's a different kind of special," Jamie and Joe said a few days after letting the event sink in. "Addie was special because she was the first. It’s great to have a different story."

One they’ll be reminded of every time they go for a drive.

Watch the full interview with Jamie and Joe Powers below:

Full Interview: Couple delivers baby on Montana roadside