A U.S. Navy submarine sonar technician is qualified to do a lot of things—and now STS3 Andrew Bireley can add delivering his own son to the list.
Around 4:50 a.m. Saturday morning, Ally Bireley told her husband, Andrew, that she was having contractions. Thinking she was in labor, he called the obstetrician. The plan was to get to the hospital.
“As soon as I hang up the phone I hear Ally screaming in the bathroom. So I rush in there. She’s telling me she’s feeling the need to push,” Bireley said.
So he laid Ally down on the bathroom floor. Then Bireley was everywhere: in the bathroom with his wife, checking on this 3-year-old son Liam—who woke up—unlocking the front door for first responders.
“It was terrifying, amazing, scary, wonderful, so many emotions,” Bireley said.
Town of Groton Officer Marvel Bennett was the first on scene and stepped into the role of coach. Baby Cory Alexander arrived by 5:13 a.m., about 20 minutes after the Bireleys first woke up.
“His head came out but the rest of him didn’t. And then Ally seemed as if she was almost too weak for a minute,” Bireley said. “We prompted her to push the rest of him out and then it took us a minute to get him to start breathing. But once did, he was crying.”
Deputy Chief Paul Gately said Bennett, who’s been with the department for almost six years, worked to make the environment as sterile as possible. His officers are trained to deliver babies, but it’s rare. Gately said he’s never delivered one in his 28 years on a police force.
“From what I know, he did an outstanding job and I told him that,” Gately said.
“I am grateful for (Bennett’s) coaching—for him being there to make sure I’m not doing anything wrong,” Bireley said. “Because this boy is a blessing and I wouldn’t want anything to happen to him or Ally.”
Delivering his own son, Bireley’s third child, was also a blessing. He said it’s a bond they’ll forever share.
“I was the first thing he saw in this world and I got to be the first person to hold him,” Bireley said.