A Race to Birth

Fast Action Requires Quick Hands

Although most moms-to-be know that North-Bay Medical Center in Fairfield has plush labor and delivery rooms just waiting for a fantastic birthing experience, some babies may have a different agenda.

When that happens, moms sometimes end up in the very capable hands of one of NorthBay’s two Emergency Department staffs.

One recent birth—at the NorthBay VacaValley Hospital Emergency Department—was particularly memorable because the frantic mother arrived at a time when the ED was running at full tilt and all triage nurses and physicians were busy, recalls Allison Pearson, emergency room technician.

“The front desk called and said a mom at 38 weeks gestation had just walked in and she was in labor. It was the mother’s fourth child and things were moving very quickly,” Pearson says. “I tried to get her into a wheelchair but she wouldn’t sit down. She kept saying ‘the baby’s coming, the baby’s coming.’”

“I tried to get her into a wheelchair but she wouldn’t sit down. She kept saying ‘the baby’s coming, the baby’s coming.”

VacaValley has a small OB/GYN room set up just for these rare emergencies, and that’s where Pearson and the anxious mother headed. As Pearson helped her get up onto the bed, she noticed the baby was crowning. “I kept yelling, ‘hey, can I get some help in here!’ and finally just screamed really loud for the doctor. But then the baby just came right out! I’m glad I was gloved up!”

Within seconds triage nurses were at Pearson’s side. “They clamped the cord, put the baby in a warmer and took care of the mom.”

“Although it’s best for mom and baby if the delivery takes place at NorthBay’s fully equipped and staffed Labor & Delivery department in Fairfield, sometimes these things can’t be avoided,” says Daman Mott, director of ED/Trauma Services. “Dialing 9-1-1 may also be an option to get definitive medical care on scene quickly.”

While Pearson has witnessed the birth of friends’ children, this was her first hands-on delivery. “I’ll never forget it, ever!”

And, as for the mom and the child? “Everything turned out OK. She had a baby girl, and I suggested she consider Allison as her name.”

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