Published in the June 9 2010 issue of The Edmonton Sun. News
From dousing to delivering
When Brian McIntyre started his first day of paternity leave, he wasn’t expecting to do much — take his two-year-old daughter swimming, maybe play a game of soccer.
Instead, the Edmonton firefighter found himself delivering his new baby son June 2 on the floor by his dining room table after his wife went into labour a week early.
“I worked the night shift before, got off in the morning and seven hours later…” McIntyre said, motioning Tuesday to his sleeping six-day-old son Ronan.
“I didn’t realize this was going to happen.”
Around 2 p.m. that Wednesday, McIntyre’s wife Candice lay on the hardwood floor of their home, while McIntyre’s sister was on the phone with 911, yelling out delivery instructions to McIntyre.
After the baby was out, the 42-year-old firefighter grabbed a lime green shoelace off of Candice’s recently purchased Puma sneakers and used it to cut the baby’s umbilical cord.
The entire procedure took just 10 minutes and three pushes to bring blue-eyed Ronan into the world.
“Thinking back, it’s like, ‘wow, did that actually happen?’ ” she said. “My body didn’t give me any warnings that all of a sudden that was going to happen.”
Candice added she was disappointed she wasn’t able to give birth at the new Lois Hole Hospital for Women.
And despite battling fires and being faced with dangerous situations at work each day, McIntyre said delivering a baby was an entirely different challenge.
“It’s harder. I’ve never done it before,” he said. “There’s a lot of adrenaline in a short period of time.
“I was a nervous wreck (but) right when I got into doing it I kind of forgot about everything else.”
The firefighter added that his friends and family have started calling him “Dr. McIntyre.”
The family plans to save the shoelaces used to cut the umbilical cord and tell their son about his special delivery when he gets older.
“I’m still using the shoes, too,” Candice said, adding that the laces have since been washed.
McIntyre is on paternity leave for three months.