When Alana Sanders gave birth to her fourth child, the people on hand to towel off the baby and tie its umbilical cord weren't the usual team of doctors or nurses. They were her 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son.
The Northern California woman unexpectedly went into labor at her home in Fremont and was forced to turn to her kids, Faith and Jabari, after giving birth while standing in her bathroom.
Father Geoffrey Sanders, 35, said Thursday he had left for work around 1:30 a.m. and was not around when the baby came on March 9.
He said his kids are "much brighter than their age."
"I'm a proud father," he said. "It's kind of a pat on the back that we are doing something right."
Alana Sanders, 36, said her kids stayed composed throughout the ordeal.
"They didn't freak out. They didn't fight with each other," she told the Oakland Tribune.
Geoffrey Sanders said his wife was not available for further comment,
A 911 recording released Wednesday attests to the children's poise, as they relayed messages between their mother and a dispatcher.
"She's starting to bleed," Jabari says at one point in the recording.
His mother can then be heard screaming.
"The baby's already here," he tells the dispatcher, as the baby begins to cry.
Faith then gets on the phone, and the dispatcher tells her to wipe the baby with a clean towel and tie, not cut, the umbilical cord with a string or shoelace about six inches from the baby's body.
"You did a great job," the dispatcher says, as paramedics arrive.
Alana Sanders and the newborn, Joseph, were taken to Saint Rose Hospital in Hayward. The boy, who weighed 9 pounds and 4 ounces, was healthy, Geoffrey Sanders said.
Faith told the San Francisco Chronicle the experience was exciting.
"Usually nothing happens everyday," she said. "It's the same-old, same-old."
Jabari said the birth was "cool and weird."