Siobhan Anderson’s water broke at 5:30 AM Saturday morning. She headed, somewhat calmly, to the hospital as per her doctor’s advice, at 7AM. Siobhan was pregnant with twins and had reached full term but was still a few days shy of 40 weeks.
But the labor– this was not her first– was much faster than any of them had expected.
Siobhan said she felt an big contraction soon after they got onto the highway and then the baby’s head. She told her husband, Bryan, “the babies are coming!” but he thought maybe they could still get to the hospital. But she insisted they pull over, off the highway and call 911. The ambulance arrived right away and EMTs found her not moving because she was “holding the baby in.”
Her instincts were spot on: As soon as they moved her to get her onto a stretcher, she gave birth to the first twin, Gavin (6lbs, 12 ounces).
“As soon as I moved, he came out,” she laughed. “He was born at 7:35 in the open air.”
The second baby, Declan (5lbs, 5 ounces) was born fifteen minutes later in the ambulance, which had pulled over on the side of yet another Long Island Highway for the birth.
“I sat right behind her,” Brayn said. “It was an unbelievable experience.” By the time they got to the hospital they had two big, healthy babies in their arms.
Siobhan said, “We were just in shock. I’m still in shock that it happened. I can’t believe I was able to do that.”
These stories are remarkable and rare and that’s why we tell them. I felt for the parents in this story when I read it. I’m sure they were totally flipping out.
Having a baby unassisted is something most expectant couples worry about– especially dads, I find.
One thing I find reassuring is that when things happen this fast it’s usually because everything is working incredible smoothly, not because there’s a problem. I also think it’s reassuring for first time parents to know that having babies within a couple hours is extremely unusual the first time around. Also, although it’s overwhelming, a mother’s instincts in these situations is always impressive to me.
Congratulations to Siobhan and Bryan!
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Photo: Deirdre Shea