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Dad delivers his daughter
NEWBORN — Richarda Marston and boyfriend Bruce York hold their newborn daughter Ariah Ariana, who was delivered by Bruce on May 24, right in the hallway of the couple's home in Paris.
PARIS — Brand new dad Bruce York says that delivering his own daughter – Ariah Ariana York – "was the single most amazing thing that [he's] ever experienced in [his] entire life, and that there's honestly nothing that will compare to that – ever."
"I'm still blown away that I delivered my own baby," 44-year-old York said Friday at his home on Paris Hill, just feet away from where their daughter was born. "She's my first child. I'm 44, and I never even thought I was going to have any children."
Ariah was born on May 24 at 11:47 p.m., measuring 21 inches long and weighing exactly 8 pounds.
As the couple sat on their couch, Ariah's mother Richarda Marston said that on May 24 around 8:15 p.m., she started to feel stomach cramps – not thinking that she would be having the baby in her very own hallway that same evening.
"I didn't think anything of it," said Richarda."I figured it would help if I took a shower. When I got out, I was still noticing some pain, so I thought that maybe I'd just keep track of it.
"Earlier that day [at 2:30 p.m.], we had gone to the doctor's. A week before we had gone to the doctor's, because she was due ... They had said [I] was only a centimeter dilated. They said ... 'it's unlikely that she is going to be born today,' and that they'd have to induce me in a week."
When the couple returned home from the hospital, Richarda's contractions were still happening pretty rapidly. "It was every five minutes, for a minute. It wasn't really severe, but enough to notice some pain," she said.
For two-and-a-half hours, the contractions were five minutes apart; and Richarda figured since Bruce was napping at the time, she wouldn't worry him too much. But by the time the cramps had worsened, Bruce had woken up. She just looked at him and said, "there's a chance she might be coming."
So the couple started packing their things to bring with them to the hospital. Richarda thought, "we have plenty of time. We don't have to hurry. I had three kids before and that was 6-8 hours easy, of labor."
"He [Bruce] said, 'just humor me for a minute. You said they [contractions] were five minutes apart, and we only live 15 minutes away from the hospital. Do you think there is any chance she could come sooner?'"
According to Bruce, at that very moment, he was terrified.
"It was almost like he jinxed it," said Richarda. "Within minutes, the contractions were [starting to be] just a minute apart." And, as Richarda remembered with her first three pregnancies, "it could go on for hours."
Richarda has two sons, Dalton, 12, and Raul, 10. She also has a daughter named Serena, who is 7.
Bruce said that, during their most recent doctor's appointment, the doctor even informed the couple that he didn't see any signs of a spontaneous birth. At this point, baby Ariah was already four days past her due date, Richarda added.
When the contractions increased to one minute apart, Bruce said he called the hospital immediately. "I said, 'come on let's go,' and she said, 'uhh, I'm not going to be able to make it,' so I was like, 'we have to try.' Then she said she had to go to the bathroom ... and at this point I was lugging stuff down to the van.
"I come in and she goes, 'I am not going anywhere,' and I thought, 'I can't do this, I can't deliver her [Ariah] at home!'"
"He was frantic," said Richarda, laughing.
"I heard Richarda scream and she was on her hands and knees on the bed," said Bruce. "I wanted to get her to the hospital."
Bruce said he wanted to do it, but he "didn't have faith." He was worried that something would go wrong. "I was scared to death," he said.
"He kept telling me to hold her in," laughed Richarda. "He said, 'Oh my God, I see a bulge!" So Bruce called 911.
Richarda said her sons, who were witnessing the entire thing, were also very helpful throughout the birth, by helping Bruce stay calm and by rubbing their mother's back.
"I could see it starting to bulge," Bruce said. "I was like, 'Oh my God, I can see the top of her head ... then all of a sudden, I see her whole little head sticking up, with her little face." Bruce said the baby was out literally within five minutes.
"I was scared to push, because I didn't want to push her out if he wasn't really ready," said Richarda. "I was afraid he was going to pass out."
"But she gave a great big giant push and she [Ariah] slid out," said Bruce. "When she did, the umbilical cord ripped right off." In other words, said Bruce, everything went a lot more smoothly than he had imagined it would.
"The doctors actually complimented us," said Richarda. "They said we probably handled it better than we would've experienced at the hospital. They didn't put in IVs, oxygen or anything."
"The paramedics said the same thing. They said all they had to do was transport us to the hospital," said Bruce.
According to Bruce, the hospital visit following the birth only lasted 36 hours. He also said that he has not missed one baby appointment since Richarda became pregnant.
"He's been here for everything," said Richarda, with tears in her eyes.
"For me to have my own child, finally, but then for her to be born at home and for me to deliver it, is amazing. I was the first one to lay eyes on her," said Bruce, smiling from ear to ear.
"It was so surreal," agreed Richarda. "You hear about stuff like this, but you don't ever think you are going to be [living] it."