-Usually — guys, usually
I come to work at 9 in the morning. I came into work just about
an hour ago today, because my wife gave birth to
a baby boy yesterday afternoon. [ Cheers and applause ]
And… I thank you.
Thank you so much. [ Cheers and applause
continue ] Here’s the thing. Two years ago I sat at this desk
and I told a story about how my first son, Ash,
was born and how it was very dramatic
in that my wife — her contractions started
coming very quickly, very suddenly, and we were
really worried that she was going to give birth in the Uber,
and we just made it — just made it to the hospital with basically 20 minutes
to spare. Well, move over, that story. [ Laughter ] ‘Cause that’s so normal compared
to what happened yesterday. Wake up, totally normal Sunday,
go to brunch. We’ll go to the park. My wife
starts feeling something. We’d been talking
to the doctor. We have a friend — our friend
Neelu, is a — she’s a doula. She’s like a midwife.
Talking to her. Everything sounds fine, but
we’re thinking today is the day we’re going to work our way
to the hospital. But again, nothing. 20 minutes
apart, everything’s fine. I’m feeding our son Ash lunch. My wife is upstairs with
my mother-in-law, Joanne. And about 20 minutes into lunch,
Joanne comes downstairs and just looks at me and says, “We have to go
to the hospital now!” [ Laughter ]
…which was not the calm I was looking for.
[ Laughter ] It was like Bill Paxton
in “Aliens.” It was like, “Game over, man!”
I’m like, whoa. [ Laughter ] Because Joanne hadn’t been there
the last time. I’d been there. And so I kind of knew how
dramatic it was last time, but I figured we had plenty of
time to get to the hospital. So my sister-in-law, Ariel,
she comes over to watch Ash, who’s in his crib taking a nap.
Neelu joins us, and the four of us
get in the elevator. My wife is in an intense amount
of pain. It seems like now it’s just
one long contraction. We get into the lobby
of our building. I have called an Uber.
The Uber is outside. And we basically get
to the steps of our building. We’re in the lobby and we’re
walking down the steps, and my wife just says,
“I can’t get in the car. I’m going to have the baby
right now. The baby is coming.” And I — I’m just trying
to calm her down. I’m like,
look, this is it again. I know ’cause I’ve been through
exactly one birth. [ Laughter ] I’m like,
“This happens all the time. You’re feeling — It’s not —
Trust me, I know what I’m tal–” And but even our doula, Neelu,
was saying, “Like, look, it’s — this is —
you’re going to be fine.” And she’s like —
My wife is saying, “The baby is coming.
The baby is — The baby is out,” at which point Neelu looked,
and then looked at me and said, “The baby is out.” [ Laughter ] And I looked at my wife,
and the only way I can describe how my wife looked was she
looked like someone who was hiding a baby in a pair
of sweatpants. [ Laughs ] [ Laughter ]
It was… It was like somebody was trying to, like,
sneak a baby on a plane. [ Laughter ] And so then we’re trying —
so we — like, we bail. We’re not going to leave.
So we walk back in and we had to decide
do we go into the lobby or back on the elevator?
Those are terrible options when what you’re looking for
is a hospital, because neither of them are
very close to a hospital. So my wife basically decided
for us, and she went and she lied down in our lobby. And we just sort of, like,
created, like, a semicircle around her and, you know,
we undressed her, and the baby was just out.
The head of the baby was out. I called 9-1-1.
This is how fast it happened. I called 9-1-1 and over the
course of a minute conversation, I basically said, “We’re about
to have a baby. We’re having a baby.
We had a baby.” [ Laughter ] [ Applause ]
It was… [ Cheers and applause ] I went — I went from someone,
like, calling in about an emergency
to just sharing good news with a stranger.
[ Laughter ] It was like, “Yeah, it’s a boy.
Yeah, it’s great. You’ve probably got stuff
to do.” Anyway, so my wife basically
takes our baby and puts him on her chest
and is incredibly calm for what she just went through.
I, uh… And then fire department,
NYPD, the amount of people that were in our lobby
was insane. Uh, what? You don’t believe
the entire fire department came into our lobby
to help us deliver our baby? There they are. Look at that.
New York’s finest. [ Cheers and applause ] Um… Lookit. Look at that. Cool dude.
Knew to put my hand on her head. [ Laughter ] -There’s that. [ Laughter ] [ Applause ]
I was not… [ Laughs ] Uh…No one — No one offered me
oxygen, I should point out. [ Laughter ] Then I had to call our doctor.
I’m calling our doctor. One of the firemen
cut the umbilical cord. That, I guess, is something,
they also know how to do, which was incredible —
did a great job. Because when we got to the
hospital, I said, “How is that?” And they said,
“He did a great job.” And the other crazy thing was
we — our neighbors — like we’re —
like, other people — like, people live
in this building, and our doormen,
who were amazing — they basically were stopping
neighbors from walking into their own lobby because of
what was happening. And the other thing
was my wife was, like, facing — her legs were, like,
facing the elevators. [ Laughter ] -And, like, thank God no one
came down. [ Laughter ]
Because that would have made for so many awkward interactions
for the rest of the time. Like, “Hey, I was there
that day.” Oh, yeah, yeah. So — and we had not —
I should point out we have not lived in this building
for a long time at all. We just moved in at the end
of last year. I’m so glad that we are already
co-op-approved, ’cause I don’t know. [ Laughter ] And these people, you know,
that I just — I know a little bit from the elevator. I know a little bit
from the lobby. I mean, I cannot tell you
the kindness we experienced from them. People running up to get us
blankets. They were putting towels
in their dryer so we had warm towels
to keep the baby warm. It was just this incredible
outpouring of kindness from people we barely knew.
I kept apologizing. I kept being like, “I’m so sorry
about this,” and, of course, everyone was saying, “Oh, my
God. Oh, my God. Don’t worry,” which was so sweet to do,
and of course, there’s no alternative.
It’s not like I would say, “Oh, my God. I’m so sorry,”
and they would say, “This isn’t what
the lobby’s for!” [ Laughter ] And…then, uh, you know,
we, uh, and then EMTs came, and the EMTs
got her onto the stretcher. And then we went — there was
an ambulance waiting for us. And we got into the ambulance,
and as we were loading my wife in the ambulance, there was —
it’s a one-way street, so there was one car
waiting for us to load my wife
in the ambulance. And again, I said to him, like,
I’m so sorry. And he did this, which was
the most New York thing. He just went… [ Laughter ] Like, he was like, “I g–
all right.” [ Laughter ] “Yeah. Okay.
I don’t have a choice.” [ Laughter ] And then — I mean, we got to
the hospital and everything — everything was fine. It was — you know, it’s crazy,
obviously, anything — anytime anyone
has a baby, it’s crazy. but I just — I owe —
there’s just so many people, if you don’t mind,
I would like to thank. I would like to thank our
incredible doorman, Kevin Ramon. I would like to thank the NYPD,
I would like to thank the firemen from Engine 24. I would like to thank
our incredible EMTs who showed up and got us
to our hospital, our doctor, Dr. Romoff, the incredible staff
at Lenox Hill. [bleep] the Uber driver,
who charged me. [ Laughter ] [ Cheers and applause ]
I mean, for real. [ Cheers and applause ]
Because… [ Applause ] ‘Cause we did you a huge favor. [ Laughter ] We were about to, like,
negative star your Uber. Also want to thank
my sister-in-law, Ariel, who watched our son. Neelu, who I literally don’t
know what we would have done what I would’ve done if I —
yeah. Um… [ Laughter ]
And then I want to thank Joanne, my mother-in-law,
who was incredible. She really was. I couldn’t have
done it without her. We named our son Axel. Here’s
a normal picture of Axel. There he is. Um… -Aw! [ Cheers and applause ] -Uh, we named him Axel because
it’s just a name we like, but I’m going to tell him
it’s because firemen were there when
he was born. [ Laughs ] [ Laughter ]
-He’ll say, “I don’t like it!” I’ll say,
“You could have been Hose!” [ Laughter ] His middle name is Strahl, which is
my mother-in-law Joanne — That’s her parents’ name.
That’s her maiden name. And I never met
my wife’s grandparents, but I’ve heard so much
about them, and they were —
they were Holocaust survivors who met the day after
they were liberated. They met in a hospital
in Austria. And days like this,
you really — you know when someone is born,
you just have such an appreciation for everyone
in your lineage who lived so that you could have
this moment. And we’re just so happy
to give him this name for people who obviously
had, uh, had to work so hard to do that.
And, uh… [ Cheers and applause ] Uh, but, of course, mostly
I just want to, uh… thank my wife, who, uh,
you know, obviously has to get an apartment closer
to the hospital. [ Laughter ] But…I mean, she’s so amazing,
and I… You know, my kids —
like, you know, I haven’t known ’em very long,
but I can guarantee you I’m gonna — I’m going to love
them unconditionally forever. But, uh, as far — when I —
just the speed in which she took this guy and, like,
had him on her and I just watched them.
Like, that guy is gonna be — that kid’s going to be fine
forever because of her. [ Voice breaking ]
Um, she’s really amazing. I’m still getting choked up
thinking about how brave I was. [ Laughter ] [ Applause ]
But, um… [ Cheers and applause ]
Uh… [ Applause continues ] But, you know, obviously I just
want to — I thank
my beautiful wife, Alexi, who is twice now
an incredible rock star with these incredible
deliveries and stories. And thank you to everyone here for indulging me
on this crazy story and welcome Axel Strahl Meyers
to the world.