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Twin girls arrive early as mom gives birth at Roosevelt CTA station

Mercy Hospital & Medical Center Special Care Nursery nurse Julia Sanchez, RN, holds Ja'miyla (left) as nurse Marianne Fornek, RN, holds Ju'niyla. | Mercy Hospital and Medical Center

Think your commute was a pain? Think twice.

The Wednesday morning rush took a serious detour for a Chicago woman who gave birth to healthy twin girls at the Roosevelt CTA station.

About 7:30 a.m., Chicago Police officers on patrol in the subway portion of the South Loop L stop heard a commotion from upstairs. They found a woman in her 30s going into labor just past the turnstile, authorities said.

By the time Chicago Fire Department paramedics Maire Shields and Rosa Perez got there, the woman had given birth to one girl with the help of the officers and CTA staff.

“We knew the first baby was fine,” Perez said. “The second baby, we were a little more concerned about.”

Chicago Fire Department paramedics Maire Shields and Rosa Perez pose with Lt. Martinez Chapman. Shields and Perez helped deliver twin girls Wednesday morning at the Roosevelt CTA station. | Mitchell Armentrout/Sun-Times

The CTA workers put down blankets and held up garbage bags to give the woman a little privacy from nosy commuters, including a few who whipped out their cellphone cameras, Shields said.

“She was very calm,” Shields said of the mother, who was due to give birth around Thanksgiving. “She’s a tough girl. I am beyond impressed.”

The woman had gone to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center the previous night with possible contractions, but she was sent home. About 5:30 a.m., her water broke, so she headed back out for the hospital. That’s when her girls made their early arrival inside the bustling station.

“I definitely give her props. We kept on asking her if she was OK, and she was fine,” Perez said.

After a few pushes, Baby No. 2 showed up right on schedule 6 minutes later, but showed some signs of possible distress, the paramedics said. Shields tapped the girl’s foot and rubbed her chest, trying to get a healthy response.

Ja’miyla (below left) was born first at 7:30 a.m., weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces. Her younger sister Ju’niyla (below right) arrived at 7:41 a.m., weighing 4 pounds, 6 ounces. | Mercy Hospital & Medical Center

“I just said, ‘Baby, wake up! Baby cry!’ And she did. She listened,” said Shields, who cut the umbilical cord.

Mother and daughters were then taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital, where they were doing well Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. They could not be reached for comment.

Shields, who used to work at Lurie Children’s Hospital, had plenty of experience delivering babies.

“Just not at an L stop,” she said.

But for Perez, an 8-year CFD veteran, it was her first go-round in the delivery department.

“It’s hopefully the first and last time,” she said. “It went surprisingly smoothly.”

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