I am about to tell a story I already know some people won't believe. It's okay, if I wasn't there myself, I probably wouldn't have believed it either. It was one of the most unexpected, serendipitous things that have ever happened to me in my life thus far, and I will never EVER forget it.
It all happened so quickly. I was walking to the hospital for a meeting, and in my path, about 50 feet from the hospital entrance, a man shouted for help. He was supporting his wife, who was standing, obviously pregnant, and grabbing onto a nearby trashcan for support.
I ran over, and asked, "What's going on?"
The man replied, "I can feel a head!"
At this point I'm thinking to myself "Oh $@*&..." My first thought was that we had to get this lady to Labor and Delivery. Bystanders are starting to walk up now, asking if I need help, and each time I say, "YES! Go inside and have the front desk CALL L&D! Tell them to get down here NOW!" I must have sent about 4 different people in to do this.
So I asked her "Do you think you can sit down on this bench?"
"Okay, how many weeks are you, Ma'am?"
So far, all of this has happened in a span of about 30 seconds. I proceed to put my bag down and roll up the sleeves of my white sweatshirt. Next, I crouch down near her legs (she is still standing) to see what is going on. And as soon as I'm in the crouching position - PHOOMP! The baby is out. It just falls out!
The dad and I both reached out and caught that slippery little sucker together. He lets go, and here I am: holding this little baby with my bare ass hands, bodily fluids every where. Baby was a bit blue, and wasn't really breathing yet, so I rubbed its belly to imitate the "vigorous stimulation" that I always see the L&D nurses do. It started crying, and the next thing I thought was "WHY ISN'T ANYONE HERE YET?!" More people were passing by, asking if we needed help, and I asked them if they had anything to wrap the baby in to keep it warm. These wonderful passersby didn't hesitate a single second, ripped off their coats, and handed them over for us to swaddle the baby in.
Finally, some volunteers came out with a wheelchair. This poor lady still had her placenta in, cord attached to baby, so we wheeled her in, getting her to the right people and setting to get the care she needed.
I was only 15 minutes late to my meeting, but for the rest of the day, I couldn't stop worrying about this woman and her baby. Had I done everything right? What if mom or baby had a bad outcome? What could I have done better? I suppose I didn't really actually do anything except help her get to where she was trying to go.
The next day, I went to her room, just to check if everyone turned out OK.
"I'm not sure if you remember me, but..."
"OH WE REMEMBER YOU. Thank you so much for your help. Would you like to hold the baby?"
Everyone was fine. They were laughing about the story they have to tell. And I got to hold that sweet little baby.
* Patient details have been changed or omitted to protect patient privacy