Recently, an unexpected event took place at Kleberg Elementary School in Dallas when a mother, who had gone to pick up her children, suddenly gave birth with the help of a teacher.
Loren Carcamo planned to spend that winter morning getting ready. The next day, Carcamo would be induced and give birth to her third daughter.
Her day of preparation was interrupted by a call from her older children’s elementary school: 6-year-old Lorette had a fever and needed to be picked up. Carcamo started feeling pain as she walked up to Kleberg Elementary. By the time she got into the lobby, her water had broken.
School nurse Tylar Krause settled Carcamo into her office, setting her up on a low blue cot. Suddenly, it seemed the clinic where students came for headaches, scraped knees, and insulin shots had transformed into a delivery room.
Krause had worked in a Baylor Scott & White emergency room during the pandemic. She’s used to dealing with crises, she said, but she had never delivered a baby. “Please get me someone in here who has at least given birth,” she yelled out.
As Carcamo’s contractions sped up, fifth-grade teacher Maria Perez Caraballo was across campus going over reading lesson plans. She was interrupted by an urgent voice over the intercom, asking her to report to the nurse’s clinic. “There was a general vibe of freakout until Ms. Perez walked in,” Krause said. “She was so calm, collected. She was like, ‘Let’s do this.’”
Before Perez Caraballo immigrated to the United States and became a teacher, she was a doctor in Venezuela, delivering hundreds of babies as part of her training. Perez Caraballo examined the mother, relieved to see the baby was arriving head-first. But she could tell she was moving fast, a dark pile of hair was just coming into view. “The baby is going to be born here,” she announced. “We don’t have time.”
About 10 minutes later, Carcamo welcomed her baby, a girl named Leire Madeleine. “I was smiling. I was happy. I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe it,” Carcamo said. “Everybody should experience that. It’s beautiful,” Perez said of the birth. “When the baby comes and starts crying, you just feel that amazing energy.”
Krause said it’s unbelievable how the events unfolded the way they did. “What are the odds of having a baby at a school in the first place? But having a doctor there who’s done it? We’re lucky. Blessed, I would say,” she said.