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Baby safe and healthy after early arrival at home

Chris Puglia
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Sep 25/02) - Steve and Rebecca McMillan are beaming over the birth of their newborn daughter Sydney.

Her birth on Sept. 20, however, was a lot quicker than the new parents expected.

Newborn daughter Sydney Rae - photo courtesy of Steve and Rebecca McMillan

The day began like most others. Steve got up and headed for work and Rebecca, in her 39th week of pregnancy was kept busy tending to the couple's two-year-old son, Aiden.

"We were planning a Bible study group dinner party for 12 people," said Rebecca.

Cooking the ham, setting the china out on the table, getting the house ready for guests and ensuring Aiden was kept out of mischief occupied all of Rebecca's time and thoughts.

"Which is probably why I didn't notice the labour pains," Rebecca said.

"I thought I was having Braxton and Hicks (false labour pains)."

At 4 p.m. that changed and Rebecca knew the baby might be on her way so she picked up the phone and called Steve at the Church of Christ, where he works.

Steve raced home and arrived at around 4:10 p.m. The same moment that Rebecca's water broke.

"I was determined to make it to the hospital," he said.

"Neither of us could remember the number, which is kind of strange because I'm a school teacher and I teach that number all the time, but in the middle of labour I couldn't remember," said Rebecca.

With no ambulance on the way, Steve said they called their friend Christina Jenkins who is an obstetrics nurse and was at home on maternity leave.

But it was destiny that mom and dad were on their own. They sent their son Aiden out with his uncle while they prepared for Sydney's arrival on the livingroom floor.

"It was happening so fast I was running laps around the house," said Steve, who told Yellowknifer he used every towel and sheet in the house for the birthing process.

Less than 10 minutes had passed from when Steve got home to aid his wife before Sydney came into the world kicking and screaming like every healthy baby.

A far cry from the 18-hour birth that Rebecca went through during her previous pregnancy.

"I caught the baby," said Steve, describing his role in the birthing process.

Shortly after the birth, Jenkins arrived and an ambulance was called.

The paramedics cut the umbilical chord, checked mom and baby's vitals and then took them to the hospital.

"It was pretty neat. I suppose lots of things could have gone wrong, thank God they didn't," said Steve.

Although the experience was a little scary Rebecca said she would do it again in a "heartbeat."

"It was pretty amazing. I wish we would have had a video camera," she said.

Sydney, who was born seven pounds 13 ounces and 20.5 inches is home and well, and has taught her family a valuable lesson.

"Next time they say if I have another child I should get to the hospital if I so much as hiccup," said Rebecca.