EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 20, 2010

Derry baby couldn't wait to be born

First baby surprises parents with home birth

By Jarret Bencks

DERRY — Graeme Loveland is only 4 days old, but he already has a story he'll be able to tell for the rest of his life — just as soon as he can talk.

About 3 p.m. Saturday, Nicole Loveland was lying down in the bedroom of her Elm Street house when she was pretty sure her water broke. The next thing the 28-year-old expectant mom knew, she had given birth to her son, Graeme, in the bathroom of her home.

Loveland was 39 weeks pregnant and started having contractions the day before. She called her doctor about noon that day, but she wasn't in much pain, so she waited before going to the hospital. The couple's first baby came in a flash.

"It was a split-second thing," said Justin Loveland, 29.

The new father pulled the newborn from the toilet and gave him a tap on the back to clear his airway while Nicole called 911.

The dispatcher said the umbilical cord should be clamped down, so Justin pulled a shoelace off a pair of boots and tied it off about 6 inches down, he said.

"I was so impressed by him," Nicole Loveland said.

But her husband downplayed his role in the birth.

"I was just following instructions," he said.

Derry police and an ambulance showed up quickly after the birth, and mother and baby were taken to Parkland Medical Center. Graeme weighed in at 5 pounds and 8 ounces, measuring 181รขÑ2 inches long. With the mother and baby both in good health, they were discharged from the hospital Sunday.

"It wasn't an ideal situation, but everything turned out fine," she said.

Nicole Loveland, a special education specialist, and her husband, a lumber trader, said they plan to have more children, but hope in a more traditional setting.

"Next time, we'll head to the hospital a little sooner," Justin Loveland said.

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