Dad delivers newborn son on couch
AN APPRENTICE plumber says he's not interested in a career change to midwifery, despite successfully delivering his newborn son while on the phone to an Emergency Medical Dispatcher who'd only been in the job for four months.
Carl Menzel, who ironically works at Townsville University Hospital, has been praised for his calm temperament during the New Year's Eve triple-0 call he made when wife Alyssa-Marie went into labour with their second child.
They were expecting to have a regular birth at the Hospital, but baby Carlo had different plans.
"I was just having mild period cramp pains and then I got two deep contractions, I rang my midwife and said I've just had two contractions and she said she thinks we're finally on," Alyssa-Marie said.
"I wake up Carl, he packs the car, and by the time he's loaded everything in I've had three contractions, my water's just broke and I feel the urge to push.
"We've run back inside and I just managed to get my knickers off, do a front flip onto the couch as Carl's on the phone and he's crowning, then it was only about eight contractions and he was out."
Advanced care paramedics Adam Ferguson and Naomi Swain arrived minutes later to check over the newborn and the "freaked out" couple.
Elaina Morris, the EMD who took the call and walked Carl through the birth over the phone met with the family on Friday to also meet baby Carlo for the first time.
It was an opportunity for the family to thank the emergency services personnel who helped with the birth.
Elaina said she initially thought it was just another regular call from a husband whose wife had gone into labour, but described the situation as "chaotic".
"It's really good to be able to give people the advice that they not only want but need, and for the dad to be so calm on the line really calmed me down too," she said.
"When he says the heads out, the shoulders are out, you're freaking out and trying to read the instructions but also keep up with what he's saying, but when you hear that baby cry it's really all worth it."
And true to his calm temperament, a softly spoken Carl said he was just pleased to be able to say thank you.
"I couldn't have done it without them," he said.
"looking back at it normally I'd be freaking out too but I think it's just adrenaline and the fact you've got to do what you've got to do.
"They'll never know how much it means having them there as a backup."
TRANSCRIPT OF 000 CALL:
Emergency operator: Ambulance, what is the town or suburb of the emergency?
Mr Menzel: My wife's going into labour. [Wife yells in the background] Yes, and the head's, and it's crowning.
Emergency operator: OK. How old is your wife?
Mr Menzel: Uh. 34. [Wife yells '35' in the background] ... 39.
Emergency operator: And you said the head is crowning?
Mr Menzel: Yes... it's coming on fast.
Emergency operator: I'm organising some help for you now Carl, stay on the line and I'll tell you exactly what to do next. Do not try and prevent the birth, okay, I need you to tell her not to cross her legs. Tell her not to sit on the toilet and assume the most comfortable position and take deep breaths between those contractions, okay?
[000 operator begins to give delivery instructions]
Mr Menzel: I just gotta stop you there, it's coming, the head's just come out, it's just turned around...
Emergency operator: Is the head all the way out?
Mr Menzel: Ah yes, and now the shoulders are coming out.
Emergency operator: OK. As the baby delivers I need you to support the baby's head and shoulders.
Mr Menzel: I am, I am, I am.
Emergency operator: And hold its legs and hips firmly, OK?
Mr Menzel: It's out, it's out.
Emergency operator: The baby's completely out?
Mr Menzel: It's out. I just gotta get the cord, it's okay bubby. Just going to get some towels to keep it warm, I'll just be back alright.
[Wife in background: Oh my goodness]
Mr Menzel: The ambulance has just pulled up, I'll just let 'em in. Thank you.
Emergency operator: I'll leave them with you Carl ... no worries, bye, congratulations!