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Ridge mom gives birth to baby in ballet studio

Smooth delivery: After delivering her baby, Bailey, alone in the bathroom of Bay Ridge Ballet on Oct. 19, Rebecca Powell was greeted by emergency personnel and her husband, Jonathan, before heading to the hospital.
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This Bay Ridge baby has a future — and a past — in ballet!

A Ridge mom got the shock of her life last week when she unexpectedly gave birth to a healthy boy in the bathroom of a local dance studio while her 7-year-old son was taking a class. The mother of (now) three said that even though she learned from her first two pregnancies to expect the unexpected, she could have never imagined that her third child would have come when — and where — he did.

“The truth is that if the baby’s ready to come, you need to be ready,” said Rebecca Powell. “But I didn’t really believe it myself, honestly, until he came out, until he cried. Then it really registered.”

Powell had brought her son Quinn to a class at Bay Ridge Ballet on Oct. 19, and said that she had felt a bit uncomfortable that day, but certainly wasn’t expecting the baby until his Oct. 28 due date.

“I was feeling some uncomfortable contractions, but they didn’t seem like they were real contractions. Because I wasn’t due yet I didn’t think much of it,” she said. “I never would’ve told you at 5:15 that I was gonna have that baby at the class.”

But when Powell went to the bathroom just a few minutes after the class started, her water broke. She quickly realized the baby was coming, but said she knew she had some more items to check off her to-do list before she could give birth — including calling and texting her husband, midwife, and friend who was supposed to pick up her other child, 4-year-old daughter Keaton — all while going through labor.

“There was just a lot of organizing that seemed like it suddenly had to happen because of the circumstances of where everybody was in that moment,” she said. “It required probably 20 minutes of calling and texting. I sort of lost my sense of paying much attention to my contractions getting closer and more regular.”

But when she was on the phone with her husband, Jonathan Friedman, she felt a strong contraction — “the one you feel when it’s the end of labor” — and headed to the bathroom to lock the door and collect her thoughts.

And within ten minutes, the baby — Bailey Powell — made his debut at a healthy eight pounds, four ounces, and 20-and-a-half inches, Powell said. The mom was in shock, she said, but added that she didn’t have time to be scared and that her self-delivery proved that women really can do it all alone.

“I just couldn’t believe it — it was too crazy,” Powell said. “I wasn’t afraid, and it happened so quickly that there wasn’t time to consider much about what was going on. Women have been doing it forever, right? We don’t really need anybody. Clearly he was ready to come out.”

The dance studio’s owner, who was teaching a class at the time, said that another mother only clued her in to the nearly silent birth after it had already happened, while another called 911 to alert the paramedics.

“We didn’t hear a peep from mom, we just all of a sudden heard that sneaky baby cry,” said Patricia Foster-Graydo, who opened Bay Ridge Ballet last September. “When I got to her, the baby had been born, and she was already nursing. She was as calm as could be.”

Powell said that Quinn also took the surprise delivery in stride.

“He came into the bathroom and kind of did a double take, and said, ‘Oh, I wondered where you went,’ because he had noticed I wasn’t in the waiting area anymore,” she said.

The paramedics and Powell’s husband — who had been at work in the city and sprinted to the studio from the subway station — arrived within ten minutes, she said, before they all headed to the Lutheran Hospital.

Powell said she and Bailey are doing well, and that she thinks her son may have a future in dance — for more reasons than one.

“Miss Patty told us that ‘Bailey’ is very similar to the Spanish word for “dance,” [baile] which is a total coincidence.”

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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