RFD Delivers Baby

Cam Bonelli

Jul. 21, 2018

Richfield Fire Department helps deliver baby

One of Richfield’s newest residents came into the world July 5 with four strangers in his parent’s bedroom. Richfield residents Gina and Matthew Erickson had a normal day before the birth of their son. The couple went on a date to see Minnesota United FC play. Around 2:30 a.m. July 5, 39-week pregnant Gina said she felt a little different. “I felt some minor cramping,” Gina said. “I texted my husband, who was still doing some work, and told him I felt weird. I called the midwife and she said it was some pre-labor cramps, and we still had time. She told me to try to go to sleep and get some rest.” Gina and Matthew settled in for the night as he tried to help her relax and get some sleep. Matthew said he woke up around 7 a.m. to Gina yelling. “I started making preparations to call work and tell them the baby may be coming today, getting ready to go the hospital and canceled a lunch date with my dad,” Matthew said. “I was assuming it would happen sometime that day.” Gina said she texted the midwife and doula, expecting labor to take a long time. “Matthew was helping me breathe through contractions. Around 7:30-7:45 a.m. I started having 45-second contractions, two minutes apart. I began getting sick, which is usually the last sign of delivery.” Matthew and Gina noticed it was all happening quickly. Gina said told Matthew she needed to get comfortable in the bedroom and to go get some towels. “By 8 a.m., I realized I needed my doula––right now,” Gina said. Matthew called the doula and put her on speaker phone. “She could hear Gina in the background,” Matthew said. “The doula realized the baby is coming now.” Around 8:39 a.m., the two decided it was time to go to the hospital. However, Gina’s contractions were too close together to get her dressed and ready to go. The couple decided their best option was to call 911. Matthew said he called the dispatcher, and they quickly got him in touch with paramedics. “The paramedic asked if Gina’s water had broken, and I said, ‘Yes, I can see the amniotic sack between her legs,” Matthew said. “By the time I had answered another question, there was a knock at the door. The fire department was here within two to three minutes of placing a call. There are perks of living four to five blocks away from the station.” Gina said the doula arrived at about 8:45 a.m., saw the paramedics and the firemen in her bedroom and climbed into Gina’s bed to help her give birth. “I’ve got four strangers in my bedroom, my doula and my husband,” Gina said. “Despite what was going on, it was a very relaxed environment. They all made me feel very comfortable.” After dialing 911, Gina and Matthew welcomed their first child, Finley Alexander Erickson, into the world at 9:11 a.m. in the home they purchased two years ago this month. Richfield-fire-delivery Firefighter Mike Ziskovsky (left), new father Matthew Erickson and newborn son Finley Alexander Erickson (middle) and Firefighter Brian Weinholz (right) pose together after Finley’s delivery. Courtesy of Richfield Fire Department Matthew said Finley came into the world as calm as the atmosphere of the room. “He didn’t come out with a yell, but some sputtering,” Matthew said. “It took a minute or two, but he then let out a cry. They ran all the checks and pulled out an oxygen mask to make sure he was getting enough air. I thought something was wrong, but the paramedics were just going through the checks. We’ve come to learn he’s a very chill dude.” Gina said they had considered a home birth as part of their plans but eventually decided a hospital birth was their best option. “All the plans melted away as soon as I went into labor,” Gina said. “The team was really great. I asked for immediate skin-to-skin contact and delayed cord clamping, and they respected my wishes. Matthew got to cut the umbilical cord and hold him minutes after birth.” Matthew said he held his baby like a football while running around the house to prepare to go to Southdale Fairview Hospital – where they originally planned to have the baby – to make sure everything was alright with Finley and Gina. “I was looking for keys, my wallet and phone to contact relatives all with my minutes-old newborn in my arms,” Matthew said. “We stayed for 24 hours and got to come back home,” Gina said. “Everything was perfect. He was 8 pounds, 4 ounces, 19 3/4 inches long and all without medicine.” Matthew said as the firefighters left, they asked to take a picture with the newest Erickson. “They were grinning ear to ear, and we posed,” Matthew said. “This was their first experience with an at-home birth.” Finley is now enjoying life in his Richfield home with his parents Gina and Matthew. Matthew said Finley will always know of his unique birth story. Both Gina and Matt said this was an experience like nothing else, and they were thankful for the team that delivered him into the world.