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MDA PARAMEDIC DELIVERS HIS OWN BABY ON THE WAY TO HOSPITAL
Ofer Shapira, an MDA Paramedic in the Dan Region in Tel Aviv, has delivered many women during the course of his job. However, he never thought that he would have to help his wife, Adva, deliver their own baby. Well, last Wednesday, while in the ambulance on the way to the delivery room, that is exactly what he had to do. Today, when the two of them are home cuddling their healthy daughter Ma’ayan, he can breathe easily.
“We wrapped her in a blanket and entered the hospital”
“Around 8:00pm, Adva began to feel contractions and we started getting ready to go to the hospital”, said Shapira. “Because we have an older child at home, we waited for our parents to arrive to look after him”.
But before the grandparents could arrive at the couple’s Tel Aviv apartment, the contractions had become more frequent and closer together and Adva’s waters had broken. But, still, this did not lead Shapira to think that the birth was imminent and that he would have to deliver his wife. “I was sure that we had a lot of time still until the birth and I was calm. I called for an ambulance so that it would be convenient and safer to get to the delivery room after the waters had broken. When it arrived, we headed for the delivery room”.
Ofer and Adva Shapira, with their baby Ma’ayan. “She trusted me” (Photo Ofer Amram)
In the ambulance, Shapira, a veteran Paramedic, called ahead to tell hospital personnel that they were coming. “The moment that I ended the call, Adva felt that the birth was proceeding and asked me to check. I remember that, before I examined her, I thought that I was doing so just to calm her down. There was no chance that the baby was already coming out. However, when I looked, I could already see the head crowning and beginning to come out. All that was left for me to do was to take out a delivery kit and deliver the baby, while the MDA staffer next to me in the ambulance handed me the equipment that I needed”.
The birth was so quick that, when the ambulance entered the parking area of the Emergency Room, Shapira had already managed to cut the umbilical cord. “I cut the cord, carried out a primary inspection of the baby girl and saw that all was OK. We wrapped her in a blanket and entered the hospital.”
“Were you not under pressure and tense throughout the birth since you were dealing with your wife?”
“I couldn’t allow myself to be tense or under pressure. I had to concentrate on the delivery, even though I have delivered many women in the past
I never knew them personally and I had no personal feelings for them. I just had a short moment of tension, when I remembered, a second before the birth began, the first birth, where there were complications. However, once I began the delivery, I had no choice other than to be calm and concentrate “.
“And Adva was not afraid of the fact that the birth was taking place in an ambulance and not in a delivery room?”
“She trusted me and knew that I had done this in the past, so she was not afraid. She just did whatever I told her to do and knew that the baby was in safe hands”.
“When did you allow yourself to relax?”
“Only after I had cut the umbilical cord. I did that and then I had time to kiss my wife and to take in all that had happened. Looking at my new daughter, I then became emotional.”
The happy parents, together with their small daughter who was given the name Ma’ayan, have now been released from hospital. “We are only now beginning to realize exactly what happened and how lucky we were”, said Shapira. “A birth is something that can have complications. Therefore it’s preferable for it to occur in a delivery room with all that is needed on hand. Our luck was that it ended as it did and that there were no complications”. And then we have this
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