Badda boom, badda baby!
By KRISTEN LIPSCOMBE Staff Reporter
The hospital should have a drive-thru delivery service for this family.
That was the conclusion Jay Allison came to after his wife, Joy Prescesky, gave birth to their third child in the family minivan during rush-hour traffic Wednesday in north-end Halifax.
And when the proud parents finally made it to the IWK Health Centre with baby Rhiannon Elizabeth Prescesky Allison, who had been wrapped up in her dad’s black fleece jacket, they were in and out of the hospital and back in the comfort of their Cole Harbour home within hours.
While four-year-old Zach and three-year-old Noah also made quick arrivals, Rhiannon’s took the cake. She was home less than 12 hours after Ms. Prescesky’s mild contractions had begun around midday.
Yep, Rhiannon’s grand entrance into the world was both efficient and exciting.
But the bundle of joy was oblivious to all the commotion surrounding her birth 24 hours later, as she rested her head on her mom’s shoulder and slept peacefully, a contented look on her little red face.
Although her mom and dad had different recollections about how events had unfolded Wednesday afternoon and evening, both remembered knowing they didn’t have much time after making it all the way from their Serocco Crescent residence to the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge spanning Halifax Harbour.
"I knew we were in a pinch for time," said Mr. Allison, 34, adding he didn’t realize how big a pinch. "It seemed like we were really going to cut it close to the hospital."
But that was before Ms. Prescesky, 31, uttered the words: "The baby is coming."
Mr. Allison’s oh-so-naive response? "Well, you’ll have to hold it in!"
"With each contraction, I could feel the baby coming down," recalled Ms. Prescesky.
"I had my eyes closed. I didn’t know where I was; all I knew was the baby was coming and it was going to come regardless of where we were," she said.
Mr. Allison still thought they could make it to the hospital. That is, until a man tapped on the van as they were stopped in traffic on North Street near Creighton Street and pointed out that they had a flat tire.
"At that point I was like, this is it, we’re doing it right here," Mr. Allison said with a chuckle. "It was totally flat. . . . It turns out it was a screw in the tire — what are the chances?"
So Mr. Allison pulled into a driveway outside Seashore Upholstery on North Street and called 911.
But by the time paramedics and police arrived on the scene, Mr. Allison and hired doula Shannon Farough had already taken care of business.
After Ms. Prescesky’s water broke, the 911 operator got a technician on the line to walk Mr. Allison through How to Deliver a Baby 101.
"I had my hand down there and Shannon, our doula, was kind of underneath me," he described.
Just as the technician told them not to let the head come out too quickly, "literally the head was coming out," he said. "Next thing I know, the shoulders and the body and the whole umbilical cord (came out)!"
While Mr. Allison was getting over the fact that he’d just delivered his own baby, Ms. Prescesky said she was "just relieved that it was out."
But as she rubbed Rhiannon’s back Thursday and the newborn opened her eyes and stuck out her tongue, it was obvious the mother of three had fallen in love with her tiny daughter.
Meanwhile, her two rambunctious boys kept busy playing with grandmother Ruth Morrison.
"It’s nice to have some estrogen in the house," Ms. Prescesky said with a laugh.
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