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Mom gives birth in parking lot, dad uses face mask to cut cord

Posted at 5:25 PM, May 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-16 19:26:16-04

A Kentucky woman, with the help of her husband, gave birth over Mother's Day weekend in a hospital parking lot just steps away from the entrance. It was the middle of the night, the hospital doors were locked and the couple had to use a handmade face mask to tie off the umbilical cord.

Sarah Rose Patrick told her doctor on May 8, one week before her due date, that she was experiencing pressure, but not quite contractions. The doctor told her to go home, but said to return to the labor and delivery ward if the pressure became unbearable.

Last Saturday, at 1 a.m., Sarah Rose woke up with painful contractions, so she and her husband, David Patrick, called David's parents to watch their toddlers. The couple rushed over to Baptist Health Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, and entered the first set of automatic doors leading to the labor and delivery ward, only to be locked out of the second.

"We could not believe it," David told CBS News, noting a lack of security in the area. After checking two other nearby doors, both of which were also locked, the couple tried to head back to their car so they could drive to the emergency room.

As they attempted to get to the car, their new son decided he couldn't wait any longer. The contractions came "more frequently and ferociously" as they walked, and before reaching the car, Sarah Rose's water broke.

She quickly said a prayer, "Give me strength, God. Give me focus," before nearly collapsing. While on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, David thought the hospital doors would open, but, "once my wife's groans crescendoed into blood-curdling screams, followed by, 'He's coming! I can feel his head!'" he knew he would have to deliver their son.

With the dispatcher guiding him through the process, David helped Sarah Rose deliver their third child, Navi Bond Patrick, in the "cold, empty parking lot" outside the hospital. He said he was extremely concerned for his wife's health, unsure of what her symptoms meant.

"I saw a serpentine trail of blood and water move from my wife's pants, down the incline, and into the nearby storm drain. I'm not a doctor. I didn't know if she was hemorrhaging or if these were 'good' screams or 'bad' screams," he explained.

David said that once he saw his newborn's head, he was no longer terrified, but instead felt "gleeful joy and curiosity." He delivered their son just seconds later, and the couple tried to keep him warm as they waited.

They also needed to tie off the baby's umbilical cord, but they were both wearing boots that had no shoelaces or ribbons. So, David improvised, using a hand-sewn cotton face mask made by his grandmother that Sarah Rose had been wearing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I rolled it up tightly like a tortilla and tied a knot around our son's umbilical cord. The dispatcher congratulated us," he said.

Ambulances arrived just a few minutes later and finally helped the couple into the building. They were discharged on Monday, Sarah Rose's 36th birthday.

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Sarah Rose said they named their newborn after James Bond. "He sure lived up to his name with his grand entrance into the world — he does all his own stunts clearly!" she said.

"We are extremely grateful," David said. "Everyone is happy and healthy. We consider this the mother of all blessings in our life."

It wasn't at all how the couple thought the delivery would go.

"We had our hospital bags packed and organized a week or so in advance," David said. "Everything was ready. Totally prepared. And we had a great experience at Baptist Health Women First hospital with the first two deliveries. So we assumed nothing different with this third rodeo."

Security at the hospital told David that the labor and delivery ward — not just the ER — will be open 24 hours a day from now on to prevent other couples from experiencing a similar situation.

"Patients who come to Baptist Health Louisville, who are pregnant and in labor, can always enter the hospital in the middle of the night through the Emergency Room or enter through the entrance to the Labor and Delivery department," the hospital told CBS News on Saturday. "Both entrances have signage and both entrances are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Other entrances to the hospital are closed after 7 p.m. until 5 a.m."

First published on May 16, 2020 / 4:37 PM

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