birthdays in the park

Today apparently was the perfect day for birthday parties in the park. I came to that conclusion as I observed there were four birthday parties going on in a local park where we were attending another birthday party for one of Daniel’s Tae Kwon Do classmates.

Can I tell you how freaking happy this birthday invite made me because my boy was invited to a birthday party by a classmate. It did.

It made Daniel happy too. Anthony, the birthday boy seemed really pleased that Daniel came. There was a whole lot of wet happening with water balloons and super soakers in action.

Trying to avoid Daniel using me as a human shield, I overhear from another party close by, “You think you’re in labor?” I glance over and observe some people attending that party preparing to leave. Looks like it’s time for another birthday party, I muse to myself.

Back to our water wars…

About twenty minutes later I notice a whole lot of activity going on over at the other birthday party. A woman was lying on the grass, propped up with rolled up blankets and in obvious pain…and very pregnant. I walk over to offer some help. I mean, I am a nurse. I catch babies sometimes. I’ve been told that I’m a pretty kick ass doula by a few people.At the very least I can help get this lady to a car and to the hospital because…

YOU’RE IN ACTIVE LABOR IN A PARK! YOU NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL NOW!!!

Yup, she was in active labor. Actually she was in transition, damn ready to start pushing. Her mother tells me this is her 9th baby…YES, NINTH BABY!…and she has fast labors. I tell her my credentials and quickly begin to talk to and assess the mother. Grandma, on the phone, tells me that the 911 operator wants me to check and see how far dilated mom is…here lying on the grass…in the park…with her 8 children and a growing crowd of people gathered around.

Um, NO!

I tell her no, my hands are dirty, her water hasn’t broke yet and the paramedics are approaching. Meanwhile mom is starting to involuntarily push. I stroke her forehead making her look into my eyes and help her to pant through this urge to push. I reassure her that she is not going to deliver her baby in the park even if it is a great place for birthdays.

Meanwhile I am saying to myself, dear god no please don’t let this baby come out now!!!

I might have added “for fuck’s sake please, no!”

I can neither confirm nor deny if that thought raced through my mind.

Don’t judge.

Would YOU want to birth a baby in the grass, next to the little kids’ play structure in a park, surrounded by a gathering crowd of people, assisted by a NICU nurse with dirty hands?

I know I wouldn’t.

As mom is panting and breathing and bearing down, the paramedics arrive on the scene. One paramedic is trying to get detailed information but I interrupt him telling him this woman is about to give birth to her NINTH BABY, has a history of fast labors, is currently 36 weeks pregnant and she is PUSHING. I help him and the other paramedics on the scene lift her onto a gurney and then off they went to baby #9’s birthday party…because today was definitely a perfect day for a birthday party.

Happy birthday baby and congratulations to your beautiful mother!

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