As we all know, deliveries can go on for hours -- even days -- with women toiling away to bring their babies into the world. Some, though, can happen in an instant, like the woman who gave birth in Lincoln Tunnel last week. Or the wife of CNN reporter Josh Levs, who's delivery progressed so suddenly, her husband had to help her deliver the baby himself.
In an interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Levs said that the "incredibly unusual event" occurred when his wife, who had given birth before, essentially skipped labor -- the typical signs of which include contractions, dilation and the possible breaking of one's water. Before paramedics could arrive, the baby was on its way.
"I thought something was wrong," Levs told CNN. "[My wife] was three weeks from her due date, there was no labor, there no was build up. She fell on the ground from pain and couldn't talk anymore and all of a sudden stuff's coming out and then I got my baby and then the umbilical cord around the neck."
While talking to a 911 operator, Levs unwrapped the umbilical cord from around the baby's neck, taking pains not to cut it until after it had been totally removed as he knew it provides the baby with oxygen. About a minute after the baby emerged, he began to breathe, which the doctor Levs interviewed for the piece said is completely normal. According to Health Central, rapid births like that are most common in women who have given birth before.
So what are some key pointers for helping out in an emergency birth? Like Levs, make sure you check if the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby's neck. If it is, slip it over the baby's shoulders or unwrap it, as needed. Do not attempt to cut the cord; wait for help to arrive.
Another biggie? Hold on tight. As the 911 operator said, newborn babies are slippery.
Start your workday the right way with the news that matters most. Learn more