BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — Angela and Paul Windt and big sister Alexa (5 1/2 years old) welcomed baby Ava at their Berkeley Heights' home Friday night — not as planned.
Angela, who works as a pharmaceutical consultant, was 38 weeks pregnant with her second baby when her water broke and the contractions came two to three minutes apart. She knew she wasn't going to make it to the hospital to deliver her daughter.
Thanks to the quick response of the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad and three Berkeley Heights police officers, there were no complications with the home delivery and both mom and baby are doing great.
Angela was sent home from the hospital Thursday evening after she felt contractions that were coming four to five minutes apart and then stopped. After her follow-up doctor's visit on Friday (complete with ultrasound), she knew to watch for steady and rhythmic contractions for an hour before making that next trip to the hospital. Her first born was a week late and induced, so mom thought she had some time.
When the contractions began again around 6:30 Friday evening, Angela thought she still had plenty of time because the contractions weren't steady — painful, but she only had a few and they stopped. By 8:30 p.m., the contractions were coming four to five minutes apart for 15 minutes. After the false alarm Thursday evening, she was hesitant to make another hospital call.
"I wasn't going to do another fire drill, that's embarrassing," Angela said.
However, within 15 minutes, the contractions progressed to every two to three minutes and she knew it was time to make arrangements for their 5 1/2 year old daughter and get to the hospital. Although, since her water had not broken yet, there was still time, right?
Her "calm, cool and collected" husband, Paul, thought he would shower before heading to the hospital for the birth of his second daughter. Baby Ava had a different plan. Angela's water broke and she was too far along to make it to the hospital — and Paul was minutes from delivering the baby himself.
The 9-1-1 call was made and within five minutes the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad was in the house assessing the situation. The baby wasn't crowning, but Angela knew that the baby was coming and transport to the hospital was not an option.
The delivery was quick and Angela didn't have time to process the fact that she was about to deliver at home without an epidural.
"I was a little panicked because I had wanted an epidural," she laughed. "I realized this was happening without one."
Within 20 to 30 minutes after her water broke, Ava was born at 9:42 p.m., weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces and 20 inches long.Mom and baby were in the hands of certified EMTs and crew: Joe Plocinski, Andy Damato, Nicole Segalini and Chief Sam Lloyd; as well as Police Officers Sgt Gallaro, Ptl Horan and Ptl Marshall, who assisted the crew.