Her water broke as she stepped into the rescue. She lay on the stretcher, â€œI think Iâ€™m having the baby.â€
â€œWhat is your due date?â€
I relaxed. Modern medical technology in never wrong about these things. If they say the due date is the 15th, the 15th it shall be.
â€œDonâ€™t worry, youâ€™re not due for a while. Weâ€™ll get you to the hospital in plenty of time.â€
â€œI really think Iâ€™m having the baby.â€
I covered her with a sheet and had a looksee. All quiet on the southern front. Just to be safe we took a driver from Engine 8 and one of their guys in back and started the six minute trek to Woman and Infants Hospital.
â€œAre there any complications?â€ I asked the forty year old woman whose second child seemed intent on making an early entry into this world.â€
â€œI really think Iâ€™m having this baby now.â€
I lifted the sheet and took another look. That wasnâ€™t there a minute ago.
â€œRick, you may want to step it up,â€ I said to the driver as we approached the Rt. 95 on ramp, looking away for a moment.
I took another look.
â€œI think youâ€™re having the baby.â€
I placed the palm of my right hand gently on the crowning head and felt momâ€™s abdomen. For some unknown reason I rubbed her belly like a genie lamp, slow circular motions.
â€œYou know, having a baby in a moving rescue isnâ€™t all that bad,â€ I said, or something equally ridiculous as I continued rubbing her belly. She shouted, just a little. I looked down.
Mark and Adam had the emergency maternity kit open, clamps lined up, scalpel ready, blanket open, bulb syringe ready, pedi mask standing by.
Three minutes away from my salvation. If she could only hold on.
Instead, my patient load doubled.
In a rush of fluid and momentum a healthy, eight pound baby girl joined us in the rescue. For a second that seemed like an eternity everything stopped; except for the speeding rescue, as the baby lie still on the stretcher. As I reached for her a small cry. Then she took her first breath, then another. Then, as I picked her up and dried her another, louder cry as her skin turned pink.
Adam clamped the umbilical cord, then separated mother and child, but only for an instant.
I handed the package over.
â€œItâ€™s a girl.â€
If I thought her look from before was priceless, I hadnâ€™t seen nothinâ€™ yet.