Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Birthday for "My Baby"

Today, November 3, marks the 20th birthday for "my baby."  No, I don't have children of my own, nor am I speaking about an inanimate object like my motorcycle.

I'm talking about being in the right place at the right time... or shall I say, a frightening event that led to a wonderful outcome.

Allow me to explain:  November 3, 1990, was a Saturday.  I had ridden my motorcycle to Baltimore to visit a niece for her birthday.  On my way home, cruisin' down the interstate, late, in the dark... a car in front of me began weaving across lanes and was being driven very erratically.

I thought to myself, "keep away -- drunk driver."  I slowed down instead of trying to pass it, as I thought due to the wildly erratic driving I was witnessing, I might get hit.

The car slowed, sped up, weaved, then slammed on the brakes and stopped close to the shoulder.  Then the driver's door opened and a guy got out and ran to the passenger side, then fell over.

I wasn't quite sure what was going on, but this seemed to be serious.  Back in the day before cell phones, there wasn't a way I could call for help.  So I stopped, and carefully walked up to the passenger side of the car.

Before me I saw a man who had fainted straight away.  A woman was in the passenger seat screaming, "my baby!"

I was aghast to discover that she was pregnant, and in the stages of final delivery.  OMG!  What to do?

My EMT training kicked in.  I kneeled down and asked the woman if I could help.  No sooner did I get close than she let out a howl and before I knew it, she delivered a baby!  Right before my eyes!

So there I was... the father of this child had recovered, but was babbling incoherently.  I grabbed a blanket from the back seat and wrapped it over the child and her mother.  I spoke to her calmly, and tried to sooth her.  She began to settle down when she let out another yelp -- she delivered the placenta, which follows the birth of a child.

Gosh, what a mess.  A lot of blood and other "stuff" that comes out of a mother's womb when she delivers a baby.  Thank goodness I had on a pair of gloves (convenient, eh? My first aid kit on my bike is always well stocked.)

I sat with her, wondering what to do, when thankfully, a state police cruiser pulled up along side.  I explained what was going on, and the trooper called for an ambulance, and took over.

It was then that I became light-headed and dizzy.  I collected myself, then congratulated this young couple on the birth of a daughter.

When I said, "daughter," Dad fainted again.  I mean, he just collapsed right there in front of me.  I helped him get into the shock position -- laying down, with his legs elevated, and sat with him until the ambulance came.  They quickly loaded up Mom and child into the ambulance.  The Dad wasn't in any shape to drive, so he asked me to drive their car with him to the hospital.

All worked out fine.  The baby was born at full-term in a normal delivery.  Mom was fine.  Dad recovered enough to begin thanking me profusely and a few hours later, he even drove me back to pick up my bike which I had left on the side of the highway.

Mom and Dad named her after me -- well, her middle name, anyway.  Poor kid... this name isn't found on those "top of the baby name" charts.  But we all call her Cindy -- her first name.  I've been there for birthday parties, her high school graduation, and she even stayed with me for a week (when she was 12) when her parents were both away on business travel.

What a nice young woman she has become.  Dear Cindy (middle name deleted), I am delighted to have been there to watch you arrive in this world, and to have remained in touch with you and your family since the night of your birth.

Life is short:  share the delights of childbirth (preferably in a hospital!)

1 comment:

Cal said...

This was a great story to start the day with. Thanks!