Will and Kate may have a royal baby making headlines around the world, but their story can’t compare to one that happened in Granton, Pictou County last month.
On June 15 Christie Nugent delivered her baby nine weeks early, at home and breached. Miraculously the baby girl, who weighed just 3 pounds, 6 ounces lived thanks to assistance from her grandmother Robin Patterson and aunt Katie, a 911 operator and paramedics.
Here’s how it all happened.
Christie had had a placenta abruption at 24 weeks, so she knew that odds were higher that she might deliver prematurely, but when she woke up with a pain in her side on June 15 she didn’t think much of it. Her boyfriend, Mitchell, suggested maybe she was just hungry. Back to sleep she went.
But things changed very quickly. At about 5:50, Mitchell ran into his mother Robin’s room and told her that Christie’s water had broken.
Robin ran down to the basement where Christie was sitting on the toilet.
“We’ve got to go to the hospital,” Robin told the girl.
“I’m having the baby, I’m having the baby!” Christie replied in a panic.
Well of course you’re having the baby, Robin thought to herself. When Christie lifted a towel though and she saw feet, Robin realized why Christie was so panicked.
“When she said the baby’s coming. I didn’t think she meant that actual second,” she said.
Robin ran upstairs and found the phone to call 911.
A man on the other end of the line calmly asked questions about the situation.
“You need to get her off of the toilet,” he said.
But Christie could barely move and had to crawl to a spot clear enough that they could lay a blanket down. She propped her back against Mitchell’s hockey bag.
Now Robin works at the hospital, but she doesn’t do anything remotely close to delivering babies. Her job is to sterilize equipment that doctor’s and nurses use. The irony is that she would be forced to deliver her granddaughter in an environment far less that ideal with laundry piles nearby.
She had both her children by C-section so wasn’t even sure what all was involved with a typical delivery.
“This is happening, I can’t do this,” she told the 911 operator.
“You’ve got to do it,” he said.
Step-by-step he walked them through, all the while reassuring that paramedics were on their way.
The baby came quickly though, and before she knew it, Robin was holding the tiny girl in her hands.
“When she came out her cord was perfect,” Robin said. “I didn’t really have to do anything other than get her out.”
But the baby was a bit blue and wasn’t crying.
“I don’t hear anything, I don’t hear anything!” Christie said worried.
“It’s ok,” Robin’s daughter, Katie, the calmest of the group said as she sat nearby.
Robin too was panicked, but swept the baby’s mouth and airway as instructed and sure enough the little girl started to cry.
Tears ran down Robin’s eyes too.
Moments later the happy sound of the ambulance pulling into the driveway reached their ears. They came in, clamped and cut the cord and tended to Christie, then whisked the baby off to the Aberdeen Hospital, where she was airlifted to the IWK.
A second ambulance took Christie to the hospital and from there drove her Halifax so she could be with the baby.
For the last 5 weeks that’s where they’ve been as the baby girl, Peyton, was incubated for a couple weeks and allowed to grow some. Saturday, weighing 5 pounds, 3 ounces, she returned home for the first time.
“Thank God,” Christie says of her daughter making it home.
Looking back, she says she doesn’t remember a whole lot from the experience that night.
“It was like a dream,” she said. “I felt like I was watching a movie or something.”
It was over and done with before she really knew what was happening she said. She’s thankful though, that the baby, who had so little odds is now safe at home and she can hold her in her arms.
“There she is, a big bundle of joy,” Robin said.
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