Two things about this story…1) it does not have to be read in context with the rest of Vic’s story. It just strikes me as very funny and I wanted to share the laughs. 2) For any of my friends in the ALI community, this story does deal with childbirth (admittedly in a slapstick sort of keystone cops manner) and, if you are feeling fragile, you might want to skip it…
I was reading Lollipop Goldstein’s post about the ginormous black snake yesterday and it reminded me of a story…
Very few things scare my husband. He is the crazy type who actually considers running into a burning building as good, wholesome fun. Vic use to be scared of needles, snakes, and childbirth. Diabetes has cured him of his fear of needles but he is still, to this day, absolutely and completely terrified of snakes and childbirth. I have personally seen him swerve across a road to avoid the little snake…not because he wanted to save the snake but because it scared him that bad. He also almost shot himself in the foot one time because he looked down, saw the snake, and his brain screamed “Kill it” but forgot to notice his foot was only inches away.
As amusing as that is, it’s not half as funny as his EMT delivers a baby in an ambulance tale. Vic’s fear of childbirth was legendary in the rescue squad. The man could handle blood, guts, and torn limbs but he couldn’t even sit through the childbirth training film during EMT class. Well, a few years before I met him, Vic was on duty as an EMT at the Rescue Squad we met at years later. Vic and his partner were the last ambulance available in the county and a call came out for a women in labor needing transport to the hospital. Vic had to go. They arrived on the scene to find, ummmm, let’s call her Roberta (but, yes, he still remembers her name after all these years), 9 months pregnant, having delivered multiple babies previously, fully in labor. Delivery seemed imminent. Since Vic was the more experienced EMT on scene, he had to be with the patient…a women fully in labor…and he was scared shitless. One of the things all EMTs have to do is call in to the hospital when we are en route with a patient. This is how it went…
Unit 1532: Vic’s voice sounding shaky XYZ Hospital, XYZ Hospital, we are en route to your facility with a 9 month pregnant patient fully in labor, contractions are 3 minutes apart. pause
XYZ Hospital: noting shakiness/fear in the voice coming over the radio Unit 1532, is everything ok?
Unit 1532: Vital signs are good but…what do I do now?
an aside to note that the hospital KNEW Vic was fully trained, the patient KNEW he was fully trained
XYZ Hospital: realizing exactly which EMT is in the back of the ambulance with the laboring patient…snicker…snicker…Well, Vic, you need to check for crowning.
Unit 1532: audible gulp…baby is crowning…silence follows…
XYZ Hospital: Well Vic, it looks like you are going to deliver a baby.
Vic, my dear, darling Hispanic husband with swarthy olive skin goes white as a sheet…
Vic: Jo (his partner), STEP ON IT.
Sadly, while this sped up the ambulance, it increased the bumpiness of the ride. Every bump, every pothole, every railroad track made Roberta feel like the baby was coming that much faster.
Roberta: The baby is coming.
Vic: begging with the best of them…Roberta, please don’t push. Please. It’s only a little while longer. Please…
Roberta: Almost laughing between contractions Vic, I’ve got to push. This baby is coming and it’s coming now…
Unit 1532: XYZ Hospital…she says she has to push…
XYZ Hospital: Well Vic, then it’s time for you to catch. Call us back if anything changes.
about 15 minutes pass
Unit 1532: XYZ Hospital, we are now en route to your facility with 2 patients. Baby girl was delivered at 11:32 am. pauses and then wails with rising panic What do I do now?
XYZ Hospital: by this time, the nurse manning the radio knew Vic and his fear very well Well Vic, you need to clamp and cut the cor…
Unit 1532: interrupting Do I have to?
XYZ Hospital: knowing the ambulance was only 5 minutes out…snickering…No Vic, we will have a doc from labor and delivery standing by at the ambulance entrance. Come on in.
the ambulance arrives at the hospital and the labor and delivery doc is waiting on them…The l&d doc clamps and cuts the cord and thoroughly checks over mom and baby.
L&D doc: Roberta, you have a beautiful, healthy baby girl and you seem to be doing fine. turns and looks at my white as a ghost husband who looks like he could keel over at any minute and says Vic, do you need something?
How funny is that? Mom and baby are fine and the poor EMT almost needs a stretcher of his own.