When BWH Obstetrical (OB) Admitting officer Athena Lacaire arrived to work on Oct. 9, she couldn’t have imagined what her morning would bring.
Just before 10:30 a.m., a pregnant patient arrived to OB Admitting in active labor. Not unusual for OB Admitting patients, this situation was something Admitting staff were prepared for. A patient in active labor is typically expedited to the Labor and Delivery Unit; however, Lacaire realized that there was no time to move the patient before she delivered. Remaining calm, Lacaire sprung to action and helped the patient deliver her baby in the waiting area, as colleague Robin Naistadt called a code to alert the OB care team that help was needed immediately.
Lacaire, who started working in OB Admitting two months ago, received the baby with a towel given to her by the patient’s sister and patted the baby’s back until she coughed. Physicians and nurses arrived soon after to care for the baby and patient, and Lacaire later admitted them to the Labor and Delivery Unit. She says the adrenaline-inducing experience left her feeling energized and joyful.
“In these types of high-intensity situations, your instincts dominate,” she said. “I had no prior experience with delivering babies, but I have a duty to protect those that come into my care and knew I needed to take action. Once that beautiful baby landed into my arms, I knew that my final step was to start her breathing. The sound of her first breath was everything I needed to hear. I was in complete awe of her—this miracle that landed right into my arms.”