It was a very special express delivery at one San Diego-area post office Thursday morning when San Diego Police officers helped a woman and her boyfriend deliver their baby in the parking lot.
Vanessa Prado and her boyfriend, Dennis, were sleeping in their Mira Mesa home at approximately 4 a.m. when Vanessa started having contractions.
"I thought it was no big deal, so I just hopped in the bathtub," Vanessa said.
But shortly after, her water broke. That's when she called her boyfriend, Dennis, into the bathroom and told them they were going to the hospital, four weeks ahead of her due date.
Dennis said he was trying to remain calm, but his first thoughts were: "Let's go, time to go, it's showtime."
In the car, Dennis tried to work with his girlfriend to slow down the baby, which seemed to be coming out faster than expected.
"I tried to tell her, hold on, keep your breathing, let’s just try to make it there as quickly as possible," Dennis said.
As the couple recounted the story from the hospital later that morning, Vanessa laughed. She said she told her boyfriend the baby was coming out, and he was coming out now.
"There was no stopping him," she recalled.
The couple made it a few blocks from their house when Vanessa said she started to crown.
"I just said, 'I’m not going to make it, and we’ve got to pull over, now,'" Vanessa said.
The couple had a choice: they could either pull over at the U.S. Post Office on Mira Mesa Boulevard, or at the McDonald's across the street, so they went with the Post Office. When they pulled over, Dennis called 911.
SDPD Officers Matt Enderlin and Eric Hustad, on patrol just a few blocks away, responded to the call and were at the post office in less than two minutes.
Officer Hustad said from there, instinct and training took over. SDPD officers only have a couple of hours of training if a situation like this arises, the department said.
"This is it, this is the stuff that you prepare yourself for," said Officer Enderlin.
Everything moved quickly once the officers arrived on scene. Officer Hustad offered to hold Vanessa's hand while Officer Enderlin positioned himself to help with the birth.
"It honestly just happened so fast," Officer Enderlin recalled. "All of a sudden, I'm like, 'Oh my Gosh,' holding the baby."
Officer Enderlin said he made sure the baby was okay and the mother was okay.
"It’s one of those moments you’re like, 'Wow, this really just happened right now,'" he said.
The birth happened in minutes, Vanessa said, once they pulled over.
"Honestly, he just came out so fast and then Matt held him and after he said, 'I got him, I got him,' I couldn’t even go to grab him, I was just so relieved the pain was over," said Vanessa, who is studying to be a nurse.
Vanessa said she was so thankful to have someone else there with her and her boyfriend.
"It just happened so fast, I was just glad someone else was there other than us two," she said.
Minutes later, paramedics arrived on scene and the officers went with the family to Scripps Memorial Hospital.
Six-pound newborn Pierce Dillard may have a new nickname going forward.
"We joked that we were going to name him Pierce Postal, but I don’t think that’s going to happen," Vanessa said, laughing.