I’ve had the honor in my nursing career, to deliver several babies that decided to come before the doctor got there. Some were terrifying, some were sad, (stillbirths), and some were just what you’d want. I think the most exciting one was the baby that was born on my couch at home.
One night I was at home, and some of my old neighbors came and knocked on the door. They wanted Barney to help because their daughter-in-law was about to deliver. I knew that Barney would be worse than useless in this situation, so I took it upon myself to see how far along the mother was in labor. But of course, they had an old shitmobile, and the overhead light wouldn’t turn on. So, we helped the mother into my house, and onto the couch.
I had just about enough time to get Barney on the police radio when she started to deliver. So I gave him the message 10-33, which stands for emergency. I barely had gotten the baby out when Barney came running in the door with one of the auxiliary police men.
They knew there was an emergency, but I hadn’t had time to tell them what it was. They were ready for anything from me being held hostage, to who knows what. But I don’t think they expected to find me delivering a baby.
Of course, cheap-o Windy Point, they of the bald tires on the police car, didn’t have an OB kit in the police car, in spite of the fact that this wasn’t the first time we’d needed one. And we didn’t have an ambulance in town at the time, the nearest one was 20 miles away. So I had to improvise. I yelled at Barney to get me some clean towels as he came in the door. I got the baby wrapped up, and she cried a bit, then just took to looking around. I found something to tie the cord off with, and then cut it. (I’d made the mistake of cutting the cord before clamping it in the past, but that’s another story.)
And then we called for the ambulance and waited. And waited. The mother held the baby, and asked me if she was all right. She had been told the baby was small on ultrasound. And it was small, it weighed about 5 lbs, but it was perfect and pink, so no worries. Hell, it weighed more than I did when I was born. (Yes, I was a 4½ lb. baby. I’ve more than made up for that low start.)
So off Mom went in the ambulance, with grandma, while the uncle drove the car behind them. And then I got to clean up the couch. Fortunately, it was easy to clean, as I’d found out when a different member of this family had made an ungodly mess on it. But that’s another story for another day, isn’t it?