"Manhattan to 18 Boy"
"18 Boy, go Central" Sandra replies
Take it over to 110th Street and 8th Ave for the OB out (woman has already given birth).
"Ten-four, Central. On the way"
I start the vehicle up, make a quick u-turn and start heading down 7th Ave. Lights and sirens blasting in the mid-July afternoon. I learned after a while that it's not so much that people don't want to get out of your way. Sometimes they freeze, slamming on the breaks or coming to an intersection where the siren is bouncing of the buildings all around thus hard to figure out where it's coming from.
Anyway we get there quick. If the baby is already out it needs to be dried, warmed, possibly suctioned, cord needs to be cut, CPR, etc. We quickly pull up to the building and get our equipment out. We walk into the vestibule and start making our way up to the 2nd floor. Good the door is open. I hear nothing as I'm walking in. No baby crying. Mentally get myself ready to start running a code.
"In here" comes a male voice from the bedroom. We walk in and see a man and a woman on a bed. The man is laying on his left side with his head propped up by his hand and resting on his elbow. The woman, fully clothed is also laying on her left side with her head propped on his chest. Both calm as could be.
"Hello, my name is Rocco Cassetta and I'm a paramedic. How can I help you?" I ask
"I had a baby" she, well, just answers
"Where is it?" I ask as I'm looking around and see no trace of anything.
"It's in my stocking" she again just, you know answers.
Now the part I left out was this woman was big. I mean when she tipped the scales this woman tipped them. Good four hundred pounds at least. She sees me standing there dumbfounded for a second then turns on her back a bit and I see a big, round bulge between her right knee and her hip. I grab a pair of scissors and quickly cut her stocking and find she definitely had a baby. Problem is her water never broke! The baby was still in the intact amniotic sac. I looked at my partner. She's standing there with her mouth open. You see both of us were on the job for probably 3 months. Not only had neither of us ever saw this before, we were never trained in it before.
"Sandy, give me the OB kit!" I nervously ask.
I grab a scissor and poke the water balloon this child has called home for the past nine months and get drenched from the waist down in amniotic fluid.
I feel the umbilical cord and am amazed I feel it pulsating. I quickly suction, dry the kid and cut the umbilical cord. The baby is not breathing so I start mouth to mouth as my partner fumbles getting the pediatric ambu-bag (breathing apparatus) out of the bag. I them turn to my partner, hand the kid over and tell her to go to St.Luke's with the cops and I'll stay till back-up arrives. Out the door they go.
I turn to the mother "Mam, how far along where you?"
"What you mean far along"
"How many months pregnant where you?"
"I didn't even know I was pregnant!".
That was enough for me. I told her "I'm going into the hallway so I can direct the next unit where to come. Yell if you need me"
I walked out into the hallway, lit a cigarette. No moral indignation, no judgments running through my head. This is the way the world is. Get used to it or stock shelves in a supermarket. I got used to it.