BROOKFIELD, Ill. -- Alyce and Rafael Alexander have been preparing for the birth of their child for months. But on Tuesday morning, their second daughter was unexpectedly born the old-fashioned way, right in the bedroom of their Brookfield home.
And thanks to firefighter paramedics, everything went fine.
Alyce Alexander's projected due date was Sunday, but she knew her contractions were too far apart that morning, so she opted not to go to a hospital.
She began having contractions Tuesday morning, but not close enough to warrant a scramble to the hospital.
"I was doing well, but all of a sudden [the contractions were] starting to happen quickly," she said. "My husband said he was going to call the doctor, but I said, 'No, you need to call 911.' I wasn't going to make it."
"We got a call of a woman giving birth now," said Brookfield firefighter paramedic Matthew Dubik. "There was no time to transport her to the hospital. The baby was already crowning."
Dubik, 27 -- along with paramedics Jason Baumruck, 23, and Carlos Jimenez, 36 -- delivered the 6-pound, 13-ounce girl in the Alexanders' bedroom.
Brookfieldfirefighter officials said that they deliver about three babies a year, and that their people are required to learn how to deliver. Baumruck has been with the department for two years and has delivered two babies before, but still. ...
"I was a little nervous," Baumruck said. "You don't want to mess up."
The Alexanders had enrolled in a class that teaches natural childbirth techniques. And Alyce, 36, said she wasn't worried during the birth, partly because she had given birth before (she has a 2-year-old daughter) and partly because the paramedics made her feel calm.
"They've done this before," she said.
Husband Rafael, 39, wasn't so relaxed.
"I tried to keep myself calm," he said. "But I jumped on the bed with my shoes on and put pillows all around her. I saw the baby crowning. I held her hand and told her to just go along with the contractions."
Both baby and mother received a good bill of health after an ambulance took them to Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital in La Grange. By early afternoon, the Alexanders decided on the name Natalie Alyce Alexander.
"We will have a story to tell her," Alyce said. "She just didn't want to wait any longer."
Alyce had some advice for expectant mothers who aren't sure if they should go to the hospital.
"Just go early," she said.