Alfredo and Andrea Ramirez had specific prayers about the birth of their third child. Andrea prayed for a natural birth during the day and for the baby to weigh 7 pounds. The couple prayed for a baby boy.
However, they were not specific about the place of birth. Forgetting was something Alfredo considered, on Friday the 13th, his wife’s waters broke as she stood in the parking lot of a Texas Health Resources hospital in Fort Worth.
Alfredo knelt down, reached under his wife’s chest and grabbed the child with his bare hands.
“It was a bit different from what we expected,” Alfredo said.
“All glory to God,” Andrea said. “That’s all I can say.”
Andrea woke up around 4 a.m. Friday morning with contractions. She began to dutifully count the minutes between them. When she gave birth to her daughters, aged 5 and 3, they waited to go to the hospital until the contractions lasted about five minutes, so she and her husband thought they would do the same with this job. Andrea checked her takeout bags and waited.
At around 7 a.m., the couple left the children with Alfredo’s sister and headed to Texas Health Harris Hurst-Euless-Bedford Methodist Hospital. They parked near the emergency room side of the building, but as she got out of the car, she began to realize that the labor was progressing rapidly.
“She didn’t expect things to go from zero to 100 so quickly,” Alfredo said. “As soon as she got out of the vehicle, she said, ‘I can’t really take steps anymore. “”
At 7:28 a.m., Andrea counted her last contraction and, as she stood near the back of the car, her water broke. Alfredo looked around but no member of the hospital staff was nearby. He could see a hospital security guard in the distance in the parking lot and started whistling and screaming for help.
“Then I said, you know what, it’s going to happen here,” he said.
Alfredo acted quickly. He climbed onto the sidewalk, helped pull down Andrea’s pants to create a net for the baby, and saw that his son was already crowning.
“She was just standing the whole time, and I put my hand up to hold her head as he walked out,” he said. “And I see the rest of his body in my right hand, and his little booty landed on top of me.”
The baby started crying as Alfredo held him and he handed the baby to Andrea.
“A super unusual scene”
In his 16 years in the emergency room, nurse Nik Swiderski has seen people give birth in cars outside hospital doors, in the ambulance bay and even outside the hospital’s main entrance. So when someone rushed into the emergency room – where he was on duty as a supervising nurse – and said a woman was having a baby near the ambulance bay, he s expected to face one of these scenarios.
He hadn’t expected to see a couple in the distance, standing in the middle of the parking lot holding a newly born baby.
“Everyone was there,” he said. “The mother was standing there, holding the baby in a towel. The husband was standing there. The baby was still attached to the umbilical cord, still attached to the placenta.
Swiderski ran to the couple and was the first medic to the scene where Alfredo had delivered the baby seconds before. He and his team began to assess the mother and baby.
“She looked fantastic considering she had just given birth in the parking lot,” he said.
They helped Andrea onto a stretcher and took her to the hospital.
For Swiderski, seeing someone deliver in the parking lot was definitely a first. Especially since the birth took place on Friday the 13th – coincidentally, Swiderski’s daughter was also born on a Friday the 13th – the strange story has been the talk of the hospital.
“It was a super unusual scene,” Swiderski said. “But it turned out really, really well considering.”
On Monday, Andrea and the baby were back home and everyone was fine, the family said. Alfredo said they named the baby after the person who gave birth to him, Alfredo Jr.
Andrea and Alfredo are Christians and see the story as a way to share God’s goodness. They started calling the day “Faithful Friday” instead of the creepy nickname “Friday the 13th”. For Andrea, she said the birth was oddly easier than her previous labors.
“Delivering standing up was much better than lying on your back,” she said. “I would do it again.”