Highland, Utah can’t exactly be described as a city that never sleeps. It’s actually the opposite, so it was all the more strange when frantic mother Shannon Bird called the Lone Peak Police Department at 2:00 AM, crying for help, saying she couldn’t feed her baby. But if calling the cops had been strange, the way the police officers reacted was certainly not what she had expected.
Plenty To Be Grateful For
Shannon and Dallin Bird were pretty much living the dream in their hometown of Highland, Utah. They had a beautiful house smack dab in the middle of some of Utah’s most scenic nature, and it was just a stone’s throw away from Salt Lake City.
While Dallin worked hard to provide a top-notch life for his growing family, his wife Shannon became quite the hit on social media by posting photos and writing articles about their high-fashion lifestyle and lavish vacations. She made parenthood look like a good time. But the good times were coming to an end — and soon, she’d find herself in an absolute panic.
The Newest Edition To The Bird Family
Winter 2019 brought with it a number of big surprises for Shannon Bird and her husband Dallin. For one, the couple welcomed into the world the newest edition of their little family, London. As she was their fifth child, by the time her new daughter came around, Shannon was feeling like an expert in the parenting game.
The young veteran mother had zero worries regarding caring for a new baby while also watching over her four other little ones. However, even this seasoned veteran of a parent soon found things getting out of control. This time around, there were more obstacles than usual — and things began to get complicated.
Caring For An Injured Child
One of these new challenges would strike soon after leaving the hospital. Shannon’s fourth child, Brooklyn, found himself in quite a bind when he seriously injured his shin while playing outside. His accident occurred only two months after the birth of his little sister.
This meant that Shannon’s workload would now be doubled. Not only would she need to care for her newborn baby, but now she had to watch out for Brooklyn, who was struggling with his crutches and needed constant assistance. While her husband Dallin helped when he could, his help would only be available to her for so long.
Going Away On Business
While most new parents often want to spend every waking second caring for their child, that’s rarely an option. That monthly paycheck is essential, and in general, earning it means getting up, saying bye to the kids, and heading out to work for eight hours at least.
Despite having a newborn baby, an injured son, and three other kids who needed care, Dillin was called on to fly off on a business trip to Las Vegas. This left Shannon in quite a bind. She’d need to take care of her five little ones all on her own. It was at that point that she’d truly feel the pressure of caring for her children.
Cries In The Middle of The Night
For a while things were going quite smoothly and Shannon felt like she was able to manage her kids decently. She had become adept at juggling her duties for her newborn, Brooklyn’s injury, and the other three kids with hardly any problems. However, everything took a sudden turn for the worse.
At around midnight, on January 29, 2020, little London began wailing in her crib. Of course, this was nothing new for her. Shannon knew that it was time to give her feed her baby daughter as usual. But this time, as she prepared to nurse London, it appeared that she had a bit of a problem on her hands.
Baby London eagerly latched onto her mother, but she wasn’t getting any of the milk she craved. For a while, she tried to get something out of her, but nothing would come. It appeared that the well had dried up for London.
Shannon took to the kitchen and checked her fridge for some reserves. She found that while there was some milk in there, it definitely wasn’t enough for the young baby. By the time the clock struck 2 AM, Shannon was desperate. She had to think of some kind of solution to her daughter’s crying. That’s when she called someone who she knew wouldn’t let her down.
Brainstorming With Her Husband
Shannon called up Dillan in Las Vegas, and like any good husband would, he immediately stepped up to the plate to do what he could from afar. He assured Shannon to stay calm and not freak out. The two laid their options on the table and decided that it might be best to make some calls.
Dillan contacted some close family friends, but was completely out of luck. As it was the middle of the night, each and every one of them was sleeping too soundly to hear the rings. It was at that point that Shannon thought of an option that might just work. She hung up on her husband and began to take action.
Calling On Her Neighbors For Help
Shannon wasn’t about to wake up her four sleeping children (including Brooklyn in his leg cast), pile them all into the van, and drive them down to the local Walmart all to grab some baby formula. And of course, she also wasn’t going to leave her babies home alone in order to go there herself.
She had been a parent long enough to know that her kids could easily get into trouble when left alone, and the last thing she wanted was another injured child. She decided that the best solution would be to call on her neighbors for help. It seemed desperate — however, she was about to get a response that she’d never expected.
No One Answered Her Calls
Shannon called her neighbors, but all of their phones just rang on into the night until they reached voicemail. One after the other, each and every call was being ignored. Amid her feeling of desperation, Shannon began spiraling down into a state of panic.
Finally, she reached out to someone who had never in her life let her down: her mother. She just knew that her mother would be the one to answer and come to her rescue. However, she was wrong: her mother’s phone rang a few times and then went to voicemail. Shannon was officially all on her own. Given her situation, what she did next was more than a bit surprising.
Handling Her Emergency Situation
Police get calls at all times of day and night, and usually when they do it has to do with burglary, shots fired, domestic violence, or something much worse. Even in an area as relatively calm as Highland, Utah, a 911 call usually means something dire.
That said, dispatch was taken aback when they got a call from a hysterical Shannon talking about milk. Judging by the tone of her voice, one would think that she was hiding under her bed while an armed burglar was cleaning out the home. Putting that tone aside, the dispatcher couldn’t believe what the pleading mother was actually saying.
Stating Her Case
While some might expect the police dispatcher to be cold towards the mother and tell her that running low on milk didn’t exactly make for an emergency situation, the responders were remarkably human about the dilemma. They listened as Shannon explained what was going on.
She said, “I’ve been calling neighbors and no one will answer. I’ve never been in this predicament ever. My milk just literally dried out. This is my fifth kid and this has never happened.” Going against the grain of typical dispatchers, this kind worker didn’t hesitate to do the right thing for this frantic mother in need.
The Police Are On The Job
The dispatcher sent Shannon’s request for milk to a police officer in neighboring Lone Peak, Brett Wagstaff. In all of his years on the force, he had never heard such a request. However, he knew it was his duty to offer any assistance he could. The officer jumped into his police cruiser and drove into the night.
He soon found himself heading to a local convenience store for some milk to help Shannon feed her baby. He bought a gallon of milk and headed to the Bird residence. When he arrived, Shannon was waiting for him at the door. However, the mother wasn’t exactly thrilled by the milk bottle in his hand. The officer’s milk just wouldn’t do.
Not The Correct Solution
As Officer Wagstaff walked up to the front door, Shannon broke out into a nervous explanation, and told him how she had trouble reaching her neighbors and even her own mother, and that she had never found herself in such a situation in her life.
Officer Wagstaff assured her that everything was okay and asked if the milk he brought would work for her. She was quick to tell him that in fact, a gallon of milk would do very little for her baby. London was only 6 weeks old and needed something a little more baby-friendly — something special that might be a challenge for some people to find.
Two Times The Charm
What baby London needed was baby formula. Store-bought cow’s milk doesn’t have enough iron for a baby, and can in fact lead to a world of medical issues for them. Officer Wagstaff could have become frustrated with Shannon; after all, he’d gone through all this trouble on her behalf. However, he was patient with her through and through.
He handed her the milk jug and said, “We’ll leave this with you. We’ll be right back with some formula for your baby, she’s adorable.” He then headed back down to his car and made for the local Walmart. Having his fair share of experience with babies, Officer Wagstaff knew just what to get Shannon’s daughter.
After a few moments, Officer Wagstaff returned to Shannon’s house with the formula he hoped she’d be able to use to feed her baby. He assured her it was a quality formula by insisting, “That’s the same stuff we gave my daughter when she was first born, so hopefully it doesn’t upset her stomach.”
While Shannon tried to give the police officer some money for the formula, he wasn’t willing to accept her payment. His job was to protect and serve everyone in his community, and he had done just that. They wished each other a good night and parted ways. That said, Shannon would be in for a huge surprise in the morning.
Her Story Goes Viral
After the exchange, Shannon and Officer Wagstaff both likely assumed that they’d be moving on with their lives forever. However, the story was just too good to keep contained. The Lone Peak Police Department posted about the unique turn of events on Facebook the following morning. The story got a ton of likes and shares, and eventually made its way to reaching folks across the nation.
It didn’t take long for some major media outlets to get ahold of the story and want to cover it. Pretty soon, Shannon and Officer Wagstaff were being interviewed by such big names as CNN, Fox, Insider Edition, and Daily Mail. Yet beyond the exposure, one of the most surprising aspects of the coverage were the comments that people sent in.
Her Parenting Was Questioned
While there were a fair amount of people who were touched by Shannon’s story and the humanity shown by Officer Wagstaff, many people were critical of the mother of five, especially other mothers. They pointed their virtual fingers at Shannon and made some of their opinionated thoughts known.
One person held nothing back as she wrote: “I’m a single mom of four kids and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to get all of my kids in my car to get something important for just one kid. She obviously wasn’t that desperate or she would have done what she had to do. Period.” As if that weren’t enough, some people found fault in her for an entirely different reason.
Was It An Emergency?
Many people judged her harshly for calling 911 and wasting precious police time and resources to get some formula. Surely, officers of the law should be spending their time busting crooks and solving cold cases, not making multiple trips to the store for milk and formula.
One viewer laid it out when they commented, “It’s not like she’s immobile. I’m sure she has a car and plenty of money. It’s ridiculous to waste 911 resources on some lady crying about how it’s impossible to get formula.” Not everyone put her down, however. Some actually reached out to her with good intentions.
Some Motherly Advice
Not everyone was quick to jump down Shannon’s throat and attack her for calling the police and not just waking up her kids to go to Walmart in order to feed her baby. Some people actually reached out and gave her some advice on what to do in the future.
One mother wrote, “Here’s a huge tip for new moms: Always, always have some formula in the house even if you’re pumping so much you can feed an entire neighborhood. Keep one can in the pantry. You never know when you might need it.” At the end of the day, it’s clear that Shannon learned a very important lesson from all this.
Always Be Prepared
Most people tend to learn and grow in the aftermath of moments of danger and fear, and this young mother was no different. Shannon was interviewed by multiple news outlets, and she was not shy about how this episode changed her life. She said during her interview with Inside Edition that she experienced something new that night.
It was the first time in Shannon’s life that she’d felt powerless and desperate. The mother was literally living every parent’s nightmare. She was unable to feed her baby, and it sent her into a world of panic. She then went on to state that she’ll always have some formula on hand from now on.
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