Photo Credit: David Becker/Stringer/Wire Images/Getty Images
Nick Hexum, the frontman for 311, really is a rock star -- he helped his wife Nikki deliver their second child at home -- without a midwife. (She was in route for the couple’s planned home birth and arrived 10 minutes after the baby did.)
And he didn’t just assume the catchers position and call it a day. After baby Maxine’s head appeared, Nick noticed that she was blue and that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, according to People. (This happens in about 25% of births, according to the March of Dimes, and, while it’s scary, it rarely causes any complications.) A quick thinker, he remembered that when his first daughter Echo was born, the doc mentioned that sometimes the baby’s shoulder gets caught and they’d have to reach in to free her. So he got up in there, gently felt for the baby’s shoulder and rotated her back and forth until she slid into his hands.
I’m impressed. So is my husband. While super-speedy delivers are (sadly) not the norm, this is a great reminder that babe number two often arrives faster than numero uno. In fact, my doctor warned me that I’d likely deliver my second in half the time as my first, which seriously only gave me two hours from ‘Is that a contraction?’ to ‘#!?&, get this baby out!!!’ That’s why we chose a home birth for our second, which means my husband totally could have been Nick Hexum. When I relayed the story to him, his jaw slowly moved south. Yet, I have complete faith that he would have given the same rock star performance. I think a lot husbands would have done the same. While childbirth is scary and surreal and all of that, it’s also so instinctual and primal.
If you're now panicking that you and your guy would not know what to do in this situation (it’s rare – we promise!), here's a primer. Have your hubs wash his hands (or use some hand sanitizer if you’re in the back of a cab), get some clean sheets or towels, and have him assume the catcher’s position so he can support the baby’s head with his hands on the way out. He shouldn’t ever pull on the baby’s head: If the baby seems stuck, he should do what Nick did and reach in for the shoulder. Once the baby’s head has emerged, he should feel for the cord. If it’s around her neck, have him slip it over her head and you can resume pushing. Check out this video for guidance. (Remember, there’s always YouTube. This guy helped his wife deliver that way.)
I’m glad that my husband didn’t have to reach inside my lady parts to extract our baby. But, man, he’d be guaranteed amazing Father’s Days for life. Nick Hexum, I hope you had a great one.