Doctors Hospital staff talk father through baby's delivery over telephone

LAMARQUE Drew gave his wife Lynieka an extra special and completely unexpected Valentine's Day gift this year - he delivered their baby girl. Not due until March 6, baby Lamiea had plans of her own and surprised the couple by coming early and fast in their bathroom. Lynieka woke up around 3am on February 14 in some pain and after a while, decided it was time to shower and head to the hospital. "We weren't nervous or panicking yet because with her first pregnancy it took about seven hours before the baby came," said Lamarque. Even when Lynieka's water broke when she went in to the bathroom, the couple still maintained a sense of calm. Their 11-year-old son Lamarque Jr was being watched by his grandmother and when Lynieka felt the baby pushing despite her best efforts, they called for an ambulance. They then called Doctors Hospital to let them know they'd be coming in a few weeks early. As fate would have it, the person who answered the phone was someone the couple had gotten to know during the pregnancy and so Lamarque instantly felt comfort knowing they were in good hands. The Doctors Hospital midwife decided to stay on the phone with the Drews until the ambulance arrived, but she ended up playing a much bigger role in their baby's birth. While he was talking to the nurse, Lynieka told him "I feel the baby's head!" The calm, knowledgeable nurse on the phone advised the still not panicked husband to encourage his wife keep up the controlled breathing she had been taught in Lamaze classes and told him to take a look. "I said whoa, I see the head, and I don't know what made me do it, but something told me to stick my hands out," he recalls. At that moment, baby Lamiea slid out into her shocked father's waiting arms. "I was still on the phone saying 'I have the baby in my hands,' and on the other end she asked if I was sure. Then I started to panic because she wasn't breathing. You watch on tv and the baby should be crying," he now laughs. "She said 'relax, relax, keep calm'," and instructed him to get some clean towels, wipe the mucus out of the newborn's mouth and nose and at that moment the baby started crying. The Doctors Hospital nurse then told Lamarque to have Lynieka lie down and place the baby on her chest, swaddle her in another towel and tilt her head to the side so she would be able to breathe. All this happened before the ambulance was able to arrive at the couple's home. "All that was going through my mind was I wanted the baby to be okay," said Lynieka, who said things happened so fast she didn't have time to be scared about what was happening. "I wasn't doing anything really. He did all the work," she says of her husband whose friends, upon learning of his role in his daughter's birth, started calling him 'Dr Drew.' "It was so important to have someone on the phone at Doctors Hospital keep me calm and talk me through everything," said Lamarque, adding "they don't teach you how to deliver a baby in Lamaze class." "When you think about all that could have happened or gone wrong, it really seems surreal. If she had come out a split second earlier before I put my hands there she could have fallen on the floor or if I hadn't gotten someone on the phone at Doctors to walk me through it, I just wonder," he said. Doctors Hospital's Vice President of Patient Care Services Dorcena Nixon is proud of her team's ability to provide top quality healthcare regardless of the circumstances. "At Doctors Hospital we pride ourselves on being a leader in healthcare, but it's extremely rewarding to see how our associates are able to step up to the plate and help patients and their families even when they find themselves in such unusual circumstances," she said. Lamarque, a relationship officer with Scotiabank, commended Doctors Hospital for the treatment they received at every stage of their baby's birth. "I have to say you have wonderful staff here. I like how you check around the clock on the patients. It's been a wonderful experience. Even when we came to register, it wasn't a hard process. Customer service is everything and I must say it's been wonderful for us. The service here is amazing," he said. Knowing that his wife and new baby are fine, he now jokes that Lamiea was born early and in a hurry because she heard his voice and couldn't wait to meet him. There is another theory at play, though. Lynieka believes baby Lamiea just wanted to add to a family tradition. She was born on Valentine's Day and her older brother's birthday is Christmas Day.


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