If there’s one thing you can count in pregnancy, it’s to expect the unexpected. The unexpected is exactly what one California mom got, when she went to ‘powder her nose’ and wound up delivering her third child.
The mother, who has not been identified, was still two weeks from her due date. A friend and her husband were over for a visit when she excused herself to use the washroom. But, it wasn’t a bathroom break she needed so much as emergency personnel. Within minutes of entering the washroom, she delivered her baby into the toilet.
Her friend called 9-1-1 and was instructed, by the dispatcher, on how to clean the baby and tie off the umbilical cord, while they waited for paramedics to arrive.
At first, the dispatcher told the friend to leave the mother where she was and start cleaning the baby’s face but the friend informed her, “She’s sitting on the toilet and the baby’s in the toilet.”
“Oh, get her off the toilet,” the dispatcher responded calmly. Then, in the background of the 9-1-1 recording, you can hear the happy sound of the baby crying.
“OK, listen carefully,” the dispatcher continued. “I have help on the way. I’m going to tell you exactly what to do next.”
She then instructed the friend to use a string or a shoelace to tie the umbilical cord off, about six inches from the baby, without cutting it.
The woman was understandably nervous; her voice trembled in the recording. The level-headed dispatcher offered her some encouragement, “You’re doing a great job, OK?”
Emergency dispatchers have worked through so many high-pressure scenarios, that they are able to stay calm and rational through almost anything. The person on the other end of the line, however, may not stay so calm and dispatchers often have to assess and help regulate the emotions of the caller.
Paramedics were quick to arrive, but even then the dispatcher remained on the phone.
“Does he look full size?” she asked of the baby.
“He looks pretty big,” the caller answered.
“Oh, good.” Relief and happiness had replaced the anxiety in the conversation at that point.
“The baby’s fine,” the caller assured the dispatcher. “He’s making faces.”
“Oh, good. Good, good.”
Childbirth isn’t always pretty, but it’s always exciting. This little one made quite an entrance. He’ll have to thank the emergency dispatcher and his mother’s friend, when he gets older. – Jen R, Staff Writer
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