On Aug. 25, 2002, one of my daughters, Emily, came into this world in a hurry, and she has been running nonstop ever since.
My wife and I were blessed with three children, a first-born son and two daughters, and then we had No. 4 on the way.
The pregnancy was going smoothly and as we approached the due date, my wife’s grandmother came from Puerto Rico to help Millie with the kids.
Let me say something about my wife’s labors: My son took two days while the third one was out an hour after we arrived at the hospital.
Each kid’s arrival got exponentially faster, which should’ve warned me about what we were in for with this fourth child.
It’s late August, the due date approaching and the kids are playing around the house.
Zach is 7, Rebecca not quite 5 and Audrey is barely 2.
Great-grandma is speaking Spanish to them, and then my wife comes out of the bedroom and informs me that her water broke.
I figure we have plenty of time since the hospital is only seven minutes away.
I’m finally ready to get to the car and my wife tells me we are not going anywhere: This baby is crowning!
What?! My head explodes.
My wife knows the mess this is going to be and she settles herself on the toilet in the hallway bathroom.
I can actually see the head of the baby coming out! She is not going to wait.
Meanwhile, the kids and great-grandma are all looking in and my wife is telling me to call 911.
There is no way I have time to even talk to a 911 operator, so I call my neighbor across the street to make the call for me.
My poor neighbor had just gotten out of the shower and had a house full of his own kids and his neighbor’s kids.
He came over with no shoes and had the 911 dispatcher on the phone.
By then, that baby was out. Her head came out easily but she got stuck at the shoulders.
The umbilical cord was up over one of her shoulders and I had to gently move it and then the rest of her came out quickly.
She was beautiful, with thick dark hair but not making a sound. I opened her mouth and swept the mucus out with my finger and she began to stir and breathe.
We laid mom and baby down on the bathroom floor on some towels.
We wrapped up the baby and mom held her tight.
Audrey came back with her own baby doll and stayed with mom and her new sister until the ambulance arrived.
I was finally able to call the doctor and let him in on the delivery. He would meet us at the hospital where they would cut the cord and finish up.
I actually had to sign the birth certificate since I delivered the baby. That was cool.
Some days later, after all that excitement at home, we busted my son charging neighborhood kids money to see the bathroom where the baby was born. (He’s going to be a successful person someday.)
I am thankful that there were no complications and it all went well. It was an amazing experience that we will always remember, especially for Emily and I, and that bathroom.
Have a question or a comment? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org