“I knew this baby was coming and he was coming now.”
It was about 6 a.m. Tuesday, and Cassy Abram, 28, and her husband, Scotty Abram, 30, had just returned home from spending the night in the hospital when Cassy’s water broke.
“It was crazy,” Cassy said. “We hadn’t even been home for five minutes when it happened. My water broke and I yelled at my husband to call 911.”
But before Scotty could make the call, Cassy gave birth to their son on the living room floor.
“I helped deliver my son,” Scotty said. “That’s not something I thought I’d ever say, but that’s what happened. I’ve never experienced anything like that, and all I could think about was ‘What do I have to do to make sure my son and my wife are safe and OK?’”
The night before, the Cedar Rapids couple went to an area hospital because Cassy, who was 37 weeks pregnant, was experiencing contractions. The couple spent the night there, and by morning the doctors decided it wasn’t time for Cassy to deliver.
“It was weird, because Cassy was in a lot of pain, but the doctors said the contractions weren’t close enough together and they weren’t registering on the monitor, so they thought she must be having muscle spasms,” Scotty said.
Cassy’s aunt, Larissa Ruffin, 41, said the doctors gave her niece something to ease the pain and let her rest for a few hours before sending the couple home.
At about 6:30 a.m. Ruffin said her phone rang — it was Scotty and he was frantic.
“He said, ‘Larissa, the baby is coming, what should I do?’ and I told him to call 911,” she said.
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Ruffin said the phone call lasted 1 minute and 41 seconds, and in that time, Scotty Ray Abram Jr. was born.
“I heard Cassy crying and yelling, and then Scotty dropped the phone and I heard him say, ‘It’s OK, baby. Welcome to the world baby boy,’ and the baby started crying,” Ruffin said. “That’s when I realized I should probably hang up the phone and head over to their house.”
Ruffin, who lives about a block away, said when she walked into the couple’s house on Wilson Street SW, Cassy was sitting on the floor holding her baby boy. By that point, Scotty had called an ambulance, and Cedar Rapids firefighters were en route.
It was a chaotic and emotional morning for the couple, and when the firefighters arrived, Ruffin said, they were a welcome sight.
“They were great,” Cassy said. “They were so attentive and calming, and they just wanted to make sure that we were both OK — that the baby was breathing OK and that I was OK.”
But that’s not all.
While several emergency personnel tended to Cassy and baby inside, two off-duty firefighters showed up and shoveled snow from the couple’s driveway so the mother and her baby could be taken to the hospital.
“I thought that was so nice of them,” Ruffin said. “They had to clear a way for the stretcher to pass, but they didn’t stop there. Instead they shoveled out the whole driveway, which they didn’t have to do, and they did it so well. We’ve had so much snow recently, and the firefighters doing that means there’s one less thing my niece and her husband have to worry about.”
Additionally, Ruffin said, the paramedics went out of their way to make sure Cassy and the baby were comfortable and warm enough before transporting them to the ambulance.
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“There were just so many little things they did that you might not think about but make a really big difference,” Ruffin said. “They even thought to put their sheets and blankets in the dryer to warm them up before putting Cassy and the baby on the stretcher and taking them outside. It was so sweet of them to take that kind of care.”
Cedar Rapids Public Safety Spokesperson Greg Buelow said that upon arrival and seeing the couple’s snow-piled driveway, firefighters called out a second crew to clear snow for the ambulance, and two other firefighters, Bryan Johnson and Jason Aarhus, showed up in their own cars and shoveled the entire driveway.
Buelow said the “heartfelt” gesture was an example of the dedication and compassion of the firefighters working for the city of Cedar Rapids.
“They really do care about this community,” he said.
After two days in the hospital, Cassy, Scotty and the baby returned home Thursday with a clean bill of health.
“He’s doing great,” Scotty said. “He’s a healthy boy, and he and mom are doing really good.”
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