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      Baby Paige's mom surprised by story's splash

      An early arrival has captured the hearts of people all over Mackinac Island.

      Baby Paige was born in the Shepler's Ferry parking lot.

      The babyâ??s mother, Kaydeen, was only 33 weeks pregnant when she felt her first contraction Thursday, August 21. Just the day before Paige was born, mom had a checkup and everything appeared normal. She says nobody expected this.

      Kaydeen was taking a walk, but halfway home she had a contraction. When they came more frequently, she got on the first boat off of Mackinac Island. By the time they hit open water, Kaydeen was in full-blown labor.

      â??It's like I'm still wondering, even though I'm holding her, did all this happen? This is not how you expect to deliver your first child,â?? said Kaydeen. â??On the ferry it got so much worse. I was having contractions like a minute apart.â??

      Amazingly, an ob-gyn was on ferry.

      â??It's like she was a doctor angel put there just for me. I'm just glad that doctor was there so could walk me through the process of delivering my baby safely.â??

      As soon as the boat docked, everyone jumped into action.

      â??The doctor assessed me I was like fully dilated at that time. She asked for towels, gloves, and first aid kits. I remember her saying, â??the babyâ??s coming. We're going to take it in the truck.â??â??

      Baby Paige was born at 4 pounds, 8-1/2 ounces. So far, she's doing well. Paige is being cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.

      Baby Paige is the first baby ever born at the ferry facility. Shepler's employees put together a gift basket. They plan to present Baby Paige with the first ever Golden Pass, meaning sheâ??ll ride the ferry free her entire life.

      â??I'm sure she'll be using it soon and I'm sure she'll be making lots of trips on the island.â??

      Baby Paige should be able to come home in about four weeks. Kaydeen is excited to take her back to the island and introduce her to the Shepler's crew.

      Kaydeen is a seasonal worker on Mackinac Island. She was planning on having the baby when she moved back to Florida next week.

      Kaydeen says it might be fitting to have Paige's first birthday party on the docks.

      â??She's a Sheplers baby! I mean sometimes we have different plans, but obviously babies have different plans to.â??