Hudson family gets a big surprise – an unexpected baby
By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Hudson – For the past 11 years Carol Pinner has woken up at 4:30 a.m. to get ready for her job as a special needs minibus driver for both the Mulready Elementary School and Hudson High School. But on Oct. 3, as Pinner stood in her kitchen, she started suffering from severe stomach pain and then realized when her water broke that she was in labor. An ambulance was called at 4:45 a.m. and 16 minutes later Pinner gave birth to a healthy 7 pound, 14 ounce baby boy on the side of Route 290. Up until that morning, Pinner never knew she was pregnant.
Pinner, 42, suffers from large fibroid tumors which cause abdominal swelling, excessive menstrual bleeding and pelvic pressure. At the end of September she noticed that the tumors (or what she thought were tumors) were growing and called her doctor to schedule an appointment to have them removed. Pinner, who never experienced any of the “traditional” symptoms of pregnancy (frequent urination, feeling of movement in stomach, morning sickness, unusual food cravings or aversions), never considered that she could have been pregnant.
For Pinner and her fiancé, Rob Gibbs, 47, making ends meet has been a struggle. After spending 18 months homeless a few years back, the couple has just recently begun to regain their financial footing. At the home that they share with Pinner’s children, Leah, 15, and Andrew, 12, and their daughter, Haley, 3, there is no computer and no car and little room for their new addition. Still, what they lack in material possessions and space, they make up for in love.
“I had a great big hole in my heart that I didn’t know was there until Robert arrived,” said Gibbs, who, himself, was born in a taxi. “I have never known that feeling before.”
Without a car to get to the store, Gibbs and Pinner do much of their shopping at the Central Street Market which is within walking distance of their home. It is here that Gibbs forged a friendship with store manager, Tania Garcia, who was just as shocked to hear about the birth of baby Robert as the family’s friends and relatives.
“Had I not known them I may have not believed it,” said Garcia, “but looking into Rob’s eyes, I saw pure shock and fear. A father scared to death, as he had no idea how he was going to provide for this baby. He told me that they brought the baby home in a car seat gifted by a family friend with just a onesie and a hospital blanket and they were on their own.”
Garcia promised Rob that day that she would get his baby everything he needed and she would help him and his family get through this tough time.
To say that Gibbs was touched by Garcia’s gesture is an understatement.
“Living in Hudson is the closest I have come to experiencing the small town feel where the community steps forward and helps when there is an emergency,” he said. “Not everybody knows each other, but it feels like it.”
Garcia, who said that working at a small, family-owned business allows her to build relationships with people in town, has collected donations for the family and made deliveries of baby supplies, diapers and formula to their home every few days.
“My heart felt so heavy. I did what I would hope any good person with a heart would do for me – not judge me, but reach out a hand and help,” said Garcia. “Clearly this was unplanned and not expected and that baby deserves the same privileges and chances as the other babies.”
While she continues to collect donations (size 1 diapers and Enfamil Infant formula) at the market at 15 Central St., Garcia has set up a fund for baby Robert at St. Mary’s Credit Union in Hudson. Anyone wishing to donate is asked to send checks payable to: The R.J. Gibbs Fund to St. Mary’s Credit Union, 439A Main St., Hudson, Mass., 01749.
Now when Pinner gets up at 4:30 a.m. these days, it is to feed her new, unexpected bundle of joy.
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