After Mom Gives Birth Right Outside Hospital, Dad Uses Face Mask To Tie Umbilical Cord

David Patrick

David Patrick
David Patrick

Thirty-six-year-old Sarah Rose Patrick of Louisville, Kentucky, a mother of two, was 38 weeks pregnant when painful contractions forced her to wake her husband David, 30, in the middle of the night. The two knew that meant it was time to make a mad dash for the hospital, but they never anticipated that their morning would go the way it did. Not only did Sarah give birth outside of the hospital, but David found himself working as an impromptu doctor -- even going as far as to using his wife's PPE mask as a way to tie his newborn son's umbilical cord.

  • The family shared that Sarah's contractions started May 8.

    David Patrick
    David Patrick

    Speaking with CafeMom, her husband, David, tells us that although his wife was two centimeters dilated and her contractions had started, her doctor told them that the best thing to do was for her to go home.

    "She advises my wife to return to Labor and Delivery if the contractions become unbearable, in which case they can induce my wife since her pregnancy is technically full term," he recalls.

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  • But by the next morning, it was clear that baby Patrick was on his way.

    David says his wife woke him up May 9 and told him that she couldn't sleep. Sarah had been up for two hours, and the contractions were so painful that she had been pacing. The parents of two knew it was time to call her doctor, but they could only reach an operator.

    The operator told the couple that she could leave a message for their doctor, but there was no one else they could consult, so they decided to chance it.

    "We then call my parents to watch our two children Hadassah and Asher, who are presently asleep," David recalls. "They come to the house around 1:30 a.m. EST. We throw our preplanned and organized hospital bags into the car and race to the hospital."

  • When they arrived at the hospital around 2 a.m., the parking lot was nearly empty.

    David Patrick
    David Patrick

    They parked but were petrified when they found the the entrance to the Labor and Delivery building was locked. 

    "We have no idea why and look for another entranceway," he remembers. "We walk along the sidewalk around the building and find the nearest door. Locked. We walk across the street to a third door. Locked."

    Meanwhile, Sarah's contractions were getting more and more painful. "She can hardly walk," the dad recalls.

  • They decided to head for the Emergency Room.

    David Patrick
    David Patrick

    But Sarah wasn't going to make it. She stopped in front of the Labor and Delivery building and told David that her water just broke and "she feels it pouring into her galoshes," he explains. "She presses against me and softly prays, 'Give me strength, God. Help me to focus.' Then she nearly collapses."

  • David set down their hospital bags after realizing that his wife's delivery was now in his hands.

    David Patrick
    David Patrick

    It took four times for David to get through to a 911 dispatcher, but when he did, they promised to send out an ambulance. Meanwhile, his wife was still in pain on the ground in the middle of the street.

    "My wife groans some more," he remembers. "It quickly crescendos into bloodcurdling screams. I don’t know a 'good' scream from a 'bad scream.'" But the dad tried to stay calm while the dispatcher guided them through her contractions.

  • It became increasingly clear that Sarah was in active labor and about to give birth.

    Scared, both parents were reluctant to act when the dispatcher told them to lower her pants and prepare for birth.

    "We’re outside in the middle of the street," he told the dispatcher. "It’s cold, and my wife really doesn’t want to take off her pants here," he adds.

    But soon, it didn't matter. Sarah reached her hand down and could feel their son's head. 

    "He is coming!” she exclaims.

  • In a matter of seconds, Navi Bond Patrick's head was out.

    David Patrick
    David Patrick

    Cupping his son's head just like the dispatcher told him to, David caught the newborn as the rest of him was born. He then followed the dispatcher's instructions to carefully clean his son's face and Sarah started nursing their baby, but there was a problem.

    "The dispatcher tells me to bind the umbilical cord. He’s still connected to my wife. Literally," David recalls. There was little there for the dad to use -- nothing that was thin enough to cinch the cord the right way -- until his wife handed over the hand-sewn PPE mask her grandmother made her. 

    David rolled the mask "tight like a tortilla" and used it to tie his son's umbilical cord "six inches from my son’s navel." It worked.

  • Shortly afterward, the ambulance arrived and finally staff from Labor and Delivery came outside to meet the couple.

    Medical staff tried to move Sarah onto the stretcher, but David warned them that she hadn't given birth to the placenta yet., so they cautiously moved her into the building with even more care.

  • David and Sarah safely made it into the building, and he was able to officially cut his son's umbilical cord.

    David Patrick
    David Patrick

    David says that for the most part, hospital staff were equal parts stunned and apologetic about what happened. The head of security even came over to them as they were leaving May 11 and asked them questions so no one else would get locked outside of the building like they were. 

    Oddly, his wife's doctor never reached out to them after their baby was born. "Not even a courtesy call to check on her well-being after all of this," David says.

  • David tells CafeMom that they hope by sharing their story no one else will have to go through what they did.

    "As you can imagine, my wife and I never want something like this to happen to anyone, i.e. left in the street in the middle of the night all alone with no security and giving birth without any medical attention," he tells us. 

    He also says they want to "inform everyone that policies have consequently changed at the hospital for security measures." 

    Despite their frustration, David assures us that Sarah and Navi are safe and healthy "and for that we are eternally grateful."

    His wife in particular seems to have perspective on the whole thing, and David says she is a constant reminder that they are very lucky.

    "This was all part of Divine planning," he says she's told him every day since his son was born. "God watched over us. Nothing else matters."

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