At a time when residents of the city stop to take stock in what they are thankful for, there are many common thoughts.
Many are thankful that they have a home.
Even more are grateful to have three square meals a day.
A great number of people thank God for their health.
One Beachmont couple, though, has a particularly unique debt of gratitude this Thanksgiving – they’re just glad that they didn’t drop their slippery new baby girl on the bathroom floor as they unexpectedly and quickly gave birth in their Endicott Avenue home last week.
That’s right, without the help of a doctor or any medical establishment – not even an EMT, Chris and Lindsay Sargent brought little Morgan Marie into the world in the tiny bathroom of their apartment.
“She just kicked open the door, so to speak,” said Chris.
“You could definitely say she came when she wanted,” said Lindsay.
The couple explained that last Tuesday, Nov. 16, started out pretty normal. Lindsay was three days overdue and they were ready at any time to bolt for the hospital.
So, when Lindsay woke up around 7 a.m. that morning with contractions, they were prepared and took a quick ride in to the Mass General. They figured that they were at the hospital and everything would go down the conventional way.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
The hospital sent them home and told them to come back in several hours.
“Everything that day started off pretty decent,” said Chris.
However, both had a bit of a premonition as the crossed the Tobin Bridge and headed back to Beachmont.
Lindsay was in a lot of pain, but they were willing to trust the advice of the doctors because, after all, it was their first child. They were new parents; they were new to the whole process.
Once they got home, though, it became obvious that things were speeding up.
READY OR NOT, HERE SHE COMES
Chris and Lindsay said that once they got home, they realized that they needed to call the doctor for some more advice.
Lindsay went to the bathroom with the phone and Chris tried to stay busy in order to keep focused.
“Then I heard her yell and scream in the bathroom,” said Chris. “I ran to the bathroom and there was a little blood on the floor. She was pretty worried and I was freaking out.”
Chris said he immediately summoned his friend, Daniel Cole, and told him they needed a ride to Boston immediately.
But there wasn’t even time for that.
“Before I could even finish that conversation with him, Lindsay yelled for me to call 9-1-1,” he said. “I dialed the wrong number and I couldn’t think straight to call them. By the time I called 9-1-1 the back of the baby’s head was showing. I didn’t get much help out of 9-1-1 because all I could do was yell and scream. There was probably a lot of muttering, yelling and cursing. I don’t remember what they said. I think all I could say was, ‘Baby’s coming now. Get over here fast.’”
A MEMORABLE BEGINNING
The scene was surreal.
At the happiest and most exciting time in their lives, they found themselves stuffed into their little bathroom; a bathroom that is about four-feet square, not to mention obstacles like the toilet, a pedestal sink and a stand-up shower.
Lindsay was standing up, gripping the edge of the sink and screaming in pain.
Chris was kneeling in the doorway, watching with disbelief as his little daughter rushed her way into the world.
She wouldn’t stop coming, just as much as the world wasn’t willing to stop spinning.
They had read books. They had attended a birthing class. They had gotten endless bits of advice from all their family in Beachmont.
At that point, though, none of it mattered.
“On the second push her head came out,” said Chris. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Literally, once her head came out, I instinctively put one hand to the back of the head to support the neck. With the third push she came out so fast that I had to throw down the phone, dive down all the way on the floor and catch the baby. She came right into my arms. My friend came up to take us to the hospital and there I am standing with my baby in the bathroom door, eyes wide, my knees knocking, and the baby’s umbilical cord still attached. If I had been one split second later in catching her, I don’t know what would have happened.”
And yes, the baby was as slippery as one would think.
“Slippery is an understatement,” said Chris. “If that kid was completely covered with petroleum jelly, Vaseline and KY Jelly she couldn’t have been more difficult to catch.”
As they all stood there speechless, looking at this baby that had suddenly fallen into their arms, Chris and Lindsay knew that the baby needed to cry. So far, though, she hadn’t cried yet.
“We were really so much in shock that we didn’t know what to do,” said Chris. “Lindsay wiped off the mucous from the baby’s face and I just kept cradling her and saying, ‘Come on baby, cry. Come on, cry.’ She took one look at my mug and there it was, she cried. I guess I’m kind of hard to wake up to.”
A PRETTY EASY BIRTH
Aside from the unexpected location, both new parents said the birth was uneventful.
“The actual birth was pretty easy,” said Lindsay. “Most of the pregnancy I had been pretty concerned about the birth and what to do or how it would be. None of that really factored in. It all started around 9:30 a.m. and everything was done by 9:50 a.m.”
Said Chris, “It was probably the easiest childbirth ever. No drugs, no doctors and no hospitals. It only took around 15 minutes though it seemed like forever.”
EMTs arrived shortly after the birth and helped to cut the umbilical cord, and then transported them to the hospital for brief observation.
NO ONE BELIEVED
Both said that over the last week, as they’ve told and re-told their unique story, people have thought that they were joking.
It was no joke, Chris said, still shaking a bit upon remembering the scene.
“There was a fair amount of disbelief,” he said. “It’s hard to explain over the phone. We’ve tried to explain to everybody that we had the baby and then they want to know what hospital we went to. We tell them that we didn’t go to a hospital. Then they ask where we went and we try to tell them that we didn’t go anywhere – that it happened at home in our apartment. There have been a lot of questions about that. I’ve actually added ‘MD’ to the end of my name now because everyone over the last week has been calling me ‘doctor.’”
The new baby is welcomed by grandmother Jeri Sargent, grandfather Marcus Andriotti, Aunt Jean Sargent, Uncle Teri Lombardi, Aunt Kristen Sprizza, the DiBenedetto Family, the Hamel Family and the Cole Family.