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The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Pub owner delivers baby (In a car!)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

More used to delivering seafood dishes, Ger Reidy, the quick-thinking father of three delivered baby Maria Okosyukivski safely into the arms of her mother in the back of an Opel Corsa even using white tablecloths to keep her warm.

Ger (51), who had never been present at a birth, sprang into action when panic erupted outside Laura's Seafood Restaurant and Bar in the north Sligo village of Carney on Sunday.

A neighbour (Sinead) had been driving Ukrainian parents, Oxana Murashkevych (40) and Stan Okosyuivsky (41) to Sligo General Hospital at around 4.30pm when Oxana's waters broke.

Just 10 minutes after the drama began, the healthy 7lb 2oz baby girl was in the arms of her mother.

Ten minutes later, an ambulance arrived and whisked mother and baby off to hospital.
Last week, Ger and his wife Geraldine visited the proud parents and new baby at Sligo General Hospital to convey their congratulations.

It is just over one week after the story appeared, mother, dad, Ger and baby Maria are doing well and are coming in to tell us their story

Who Is The Guest?
Ger Reidy, Restaurant and Pub boss..
Oxana - mother of the baby (She also has two older children, a boy 9 and a girl who is two year of age)
Stan - Father of the baby
Maria - the baby!

Ger Reidy:
Everybody was in a bit of a state. They were all running but they were running the wrong way. I knew somebody had to do something. It was just impulse.
It was magical to see such a lovely little baby. She is so beautiful and so healthy. It is wonderful to have been a part of something so special.

I saw the poor girl in labour. Her waters had broken. Geraldine went for help and I asked Sinead to remove the lady's lower garments and get her in position for delivery and I rushed back inside and got two tablecloths.
By the time I came back outside, the baby was well on its way. I was on my knees on the gravel leaning into the car and Oxana was giving birth on the back seat. It was all over very quickly.
I didn't even know whether it was a boy or a girl because I was concentrating on keeping her warm. It was an overwhelming experience.

Did you see a baby being delivered before on TV?
I have three children - one of them was delivered with an epidural - the only thing I saw during that was gown. I knew that the cord was there, I was expecting that, that was what I saw on television. The only thing that I was worried about was whether the child would be alive when it was born.

How did you feel during the delivery, were you calm?
I am a chef and I am used to being under pressure - that was not an issues, somebody had to do it. When I was delivering the baby, she (Oxana) was looking the other way, at the time all these things were running through my head, but you have to deal with you have to deal with. One physio and a nurse also arrived on the scene before the ambulance, but the nurse had no experience delivering babies before, so she said that I was as good as she. One rang through to maternity ward to assist us.

You asked for clean table cloths and two cloths pegs?
Yes, when Sinead (the neighbour who driving Oxana and her husband on their way to the hospital) went in looking for Geraldine (My wife), I thought there might have been a road traffic accident, then I saw the Opel Corsa and I saw that Oxana was in labor in the back seat. I said to Oxana get her cloths off, and I got two table cloths. I turned to Stan and I said to him, 'will you relax'. I had asked for two pegs and scissors incase I had to cut the cord. The hospital staff told us that we did not have to cut the cord off, and that the ambulance would do it when they arrived. I was worried because I could not hear the baby crying, but then when I had cleaned of the baby, she started to cry and we were delighted.
When the baby was born, I got rid off any of the blood. I had her (the baby) covered with two table cloths, she was chesty all right. I was saying to Oxana that she was lovely baby. I didn't know if it is a boy or a girl, I just wanted t keep her warm. Stan asked me have I delivered a baby before and I said no, he said, Oh my god.. I though you would have!

Have there been any gags from locals in your pub/restaurant since you delivered the baby?
One local artist did a cartoon sketch - a caricature of me delivering the baby in my chef uniform, some of the hospital staff have also called in to the restaurant. It is a good news story because everything worked out well. I got some slagging from the nurses in Sligo when I went to visit Oxana and the baby, I think they might have felt a bit threatened.

Questions for Oxana

How did you feel when you knew you were not able to make it to hospital?
I was having contractions every 3 to 5 minutes before I left the house and then my water broke. The hospital is about 10 minutes away, but I did feel that I could make it to the hospital in time. Then, when we were driving, I asked Sinead, (my neighbour who was driving the car with Stan and I) to stop because I knew that the baby was coming. I had to stop because it would have been too shaky in the car. Sinead then ran into the pub and asked for help.

How did you feel when you knew that Ger would be delivering your child?
It happened very quickly. He just opened the door. He gave me a towel. He gave all the information and said don't worry.
The only thing that I was worried about was that I could not hear the baby cry during the delivery. But then when the delivery was over Ger wrapped the baby up it started to cry and he (Ger) said look at the baby's lovely eyes.

How did you feel after the delivery?
After the delivery was over, it was just a great relief. It only took about 1 minute to deliver the baby so it was actually very quick.

I hear you are calling Ger the 'Godfather'?
Yes, we are calling him the Godfather (as a nickname). I am not making him the actual godfather of the baby, but we are calling him that. We know Ger from the area, he is one of our neighbours. He is a bit of a 'local star' at the moment in the area.

How is baby Maria now doing?
She is doing fine at the moment. She is a very healthy baby and Ger has been over to see her number of times since she has been delivered.

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