Happy Nana Was Emergency Mid-Wife
CENTRAL – Polly Prestridge Cottano is a very happy ‘Nana’. On Sunday, the Central native called 911 and then delivered her 14th grandchild moments before EMS and firefighters arrived at her daughter’s house with lights and sirens blazing. A proud Nana smiled as she recalled the exciting occasion and said she has been on “Cloud Nine” since the birth.
The whirlwind of events began the evening of Saturday, May 30. Central resident Kelee Fussell was at home when she began having contractions that were intense but sporadic. At nine months pregnant with her fourth child, she knew she needed to call her OB/GYN for advice. She was instructed to go to the hospital to see if she was in active labor.
Sister Aimeé Graves was called for a ride to the hospital. After several hours at the hospital, it was determined that Fussell was dilated 3 cm., but her contractions were not regular enough for her to be admitted. With instructions to come back when contractions were regularly three to four minutes apart, they were sent home.
Back at home, Fussell found that it was impossible to get comfortable. As noon approached, she was crying and in pain. Naturally, she called her Mom. The two agreed that a hot bath shower might provide some relief. Instead of relief, the exact opposite happened! For almost an hour, contractions were hard and increasingly regular. When the contractions quickly became two to five minutes apart, Mom was called again. Baby Ace was on his way!
Unfortunately, Mom was not in Central anymore, but was running last minute errands near the Interstate and Siegen Lane.
Recalling the events, Cottano laughed and said, “Needless to say, I put the pedal to the metal. I was just praying I wouldn’t get caught speeding!”
Upon arriving back in Central, it was obvious that there was no time to get back into the car and drive to the hospital with her daughter. As they called 911 for assistance, the urge to push became intense.
Cottano took control of the situation and told her daughter, “We’re having a baby right NOW!” Fussell recalled, “It was one push for the head, and then one push for the body. It was so easy! It didn’t hurt. The contractions hurt more than the actual pushing.”
At 12:22 p.m. on Sunday May 31, 8-pound 1-ounce Ace Michael Fussell was delivered by his Nana! The umbilical cord was partially wrapped around his arm and his neck, but not tightly. Cottano said, “I put him in my arms and prayed to God to please just let him breathe and cry. He began to cry, and his lungs were clear!”
Central Firefighters and EMS paramedics arrived less than five minutes after the initial call. EMS paramedics Shane Landry and Aimee Mayeaux made sure mother and baby were stable, and then transported them to Woman’s Hospital.
Cottano said they were very pleased with the help they received. “The EMS paramedics were so sweet. God was orchestrating all of this. They were in the vicinity. So that’s why it didn’t even take them five minutes to get there. We want to brag on our EMS paramedics and firefighters in Central. They were great!”
A healthy and napping baby Ace was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon. Ace has two big brothers, Avery and Able. He also has a sister named Adrienne, who witnessed the birth.
Nana Polly described the experience through happy tears. “I’m on Cloud Nine. I think we’re going to have a very special bond because I got to deliver him. I got to hold him first, and watch him take his first breath. I think this is just going to be a very dear connection.”