An NYPD sergeant’s experience as a mom helped calm a woman as she gave birth in the lobby of a Harlem apartment building early Monday.
Sgt. Mashiel Santos and Officer Yoojin Park were on patrol in the 32nd Precinct at 1:45 a.m. when the expectant mom’s husband called 911.
The officers headed over to W. 135th St. and Frederick Douglass Blvd., but the mom, 37-year-old Gilda Roseman, was already in labor.
“As we pulled up in front of the building, we could hear a woman in pain in the lobby,” Santos said. “Her water had broken in the elevator. They were on their way to the hospital.”
The mom, who was flanked by her husband and mother-in-law, couldn’t make it to the car double-parked outside though.
“She was already laying down on the floor and (the baby’s head was) crowning,” Santos said.
Santos assured the stunned mom that everything was normal and the baby was coming. She took one hand, and the husband, Nathaniel, took the other, as the mom started breathing.
“A few minutes later, the baby’s head came out,” Santos recalled. The sergeant then offered the petrified mom some reassurance, telling her, “We’re halfway there. Another big push and we’ll have the baby soon.”
As an EMS ambulance arrived, so did the baby — a girl, the mother’s second child. The ambulance took mother and daughter to Harlem Hospital.
Park, who has no children, said she was just as jittery as the soon-to-be dad.
“It was my first experience,” Park said. “When I saw EMS, I ran there, I said, “Hurry up, hurry up! Give me the blanket!”
Santos has two sons of her own, and she’s responded to several births, though never as the first one on the scene.
“Everyone’s gonna get nervous,” she explained. “There’s stuff coming out, and someone has to reassure her that this is normal, and it’s gonna be a good process.”