When she woke up with contractions in the middle of the night, Ryan Smith did not expect the delivery of her baby, Gabriella, to be anything out of the ordinary. But in a matter of minutes, contractions that were once 10 minutes apart shortened to three minute gaps and came with extreme pain.
Before Ms. Smith, 35, or her husband, Aerin Smith, had even five minutes to react, they were grabbing an old sheet and getting ready to deliver Gabriella on their bed.
“When I saw her stand up and the baby’s head was popping out, [the baby] was blue. Some people say they couldn’t do it, but I think any father in my position could do it,” said Mr. Smith, 34.
Guided by a 911 emergency dispatcher, Mr. Smith, a plumber, helped his wife deliver Gabriella at their home at 4499 Henry Hudson Parkway on April 28 in just 10 minutes. Between Ms. Smith’s first contractions and the birth, just an hour went by. “Baby Ella,” as her parents call her, was born at 1:30 a.m. and weighed roughly seven pounds.
Mr. Smith said as he called his wife’s mother to come take care of the couple’s 2-year-old son, Nicky, so they could go to the hospital, Ms. Smith began screaming in pain. He then called 911 and gave the dispatcher their home address while Ms. Smith saw her baby’s head coming out.
“I’m on the phone with 911, and the guy said ‘We’re going to have the baby now, stay calm and I will walk you through it.’ He told me to support the baby’s head as she’s coming out,” Mr. Smith said.
Gabriella was born before emergency medical services (EMS) personnel arrived. She did not cry at first. The 911 dispatcher told the frantic father to make sure Gabriella cried, so Mr. Smith began cleaning out the baby’s nose and mouth with his hands. The couple wrapped the baby in a towel as she let out her first cries of life and the EMS arrived to whisk Ms. Smith away to the hospital and make sure she and Gabriella were healthy.
“It’s a good thing we didn’t leave. She would have had the baby in the elevator or in the car on the highway,” Mr. Smith said.