Not making it to the hospital in time to give birth to a baby is a healthy fear of almost every parent-to-be. Despite the fact that it rarely happens in real life, we have seen it play out in numerous movies and television shows, so every expectant mom and dad-to-be loses at least one night’s sleep worrying about their water breaking and their child making an entrance into this world somewhere other than the hospital.
It’s always a nice reminder that when these “worst case scenarios” do occur, that a parent’s intuition does kick in and they usually result in a happy ending.
Florida couple Candace Marie Bolden and Antonio Garland Nailing were excited for the arrival of their third child, a boy, whose arrival was imminent. Bolden, who finished her last day of work on Friday, October 14, had experienced some cramping the previous week, due to the fact that she was 1 cm dilated. She knew the baby would arrive in the near future but dilation can take weeks or moments to progress — every body is different. That, paired with the fact that she had been induced with her son, 3½, and daughter, 1½, she had never experienced going into labor naturally before so she didn’t know what to expect.
Around 11 PM that night she felt the same kind of cramping she had experienced the previous week, figuring it was Braxton Hicks and her fibroids, which caused her painful contractions throughout her pregnancy. She started timing the contractions between 11 PM and 3 AM, and they were still 8-10 minutes apart so she didn’t feel alarmed. However, the pain was debilitating, so her partner went to the store to get her Tylenol, which offered no relief.
“I’ve had ongoing contractions like this for long periods of time but as they got increasingly intense I was confused and unsure,” she tells Babble.
“At one point I wanted to scream but didn’t want to wake our son who was still sleeping in between us.”
By 8 AM she was feeling pounding contractions on top of each other and that’s when she realized that something was really wrong. With her partner and son sleeping beside her she reached down to pick up her phone to call the doctor and her water broke.
“Tony’s first reaction was, ‘That’s what I’ve been waiting for!’ I guess you can say we were both in denial that I was in labor. By that point I could barely move but Tony kept saying I needed to push myself, ‘We can do this we are going to the hospital!’”
Her partner helped her out of bed, but with each step it became increasingly difficult for her to walk. Once she was out the front door, she felt her son’s head emerging.
“I told Tony that his head was emerging and he told me it wasn’t, so because I couldn’t see down there he pulled my pants down and saw as far as his eyes,” she continued. “He immediately told me to lie on the grass and started coaching me to push and take deep breaths.”
Very quickly the baby’s shoulders came through, which caused her to yell. Just minutes after walking out the front door of their apartment, Tony had delivered their child. There were some fluids in the baby’s mouth, so Tony lightly patted his back as you would do to a choking child. After that, their son breathed normally and continued to cry.
The photo of Antonio holding his son — right after he delivered him — is everything, and it is apparent from the expression on his face that he is in awe of what he never knew he was capable of doing.
A neighbor heard the commotion and once they realized what was happening, brought down towels, blankets, and water. The dispatcher, who Tony had called after he started delivering his son, instructed him to place the baby on his chest and wait for the paramedics to cut the umbilical cord.
When asked how Tony knew what to do, Candace tells Babble that in addition to using the knowledge gained from watching her previous births, he “just followed his instincts.”
The couple was taken to the local hospital, bringing their healthy baby boy, Gannicus Ezra Nailing, home on Monday.