What to Know
Seth and Alexi Meyers have welcomed their second son, Axel, who was born Sunday on the lobby floor of their Manhattan co-op building
Axel was surrounded by FDNY and NYPD, and a fireman cut his umbilical cord; he was then whisked away to Lenox Hill Hospital
Seth Meyers recounted the dramatic story on his show Monday; watch in the video player above
Seth Meyers' second kid may have just been born in the most dramatic New York City fashion ever.
It's a wild story the late night host told on air Monday night -- one of an unexpected delivery on the floor of a Manhattan building lobby filled with FDNY, NYPD, doulas and doormen, neighbors in action, an idling Uber driver outside and an ambulance ride to Lenox Hill Hospital.
The Sunday started off normally, with brunch and a visit to the park, before Meyers' wife Alexi started feeling contractions, only about 20 minutes apart, Meyers recounted. Seth and Alexi spoke with their doctor and their doula, and they decided they'd start working their way to the hospital at some point during the day. Their son Ashe had come close to being born in an Uber two years ago, and there was nothing in this case to indicate a similar urgency.
That quickly changed when, as Alexi was upstairs with her mother and Seth was feeding Ashe lunch, Seth's mother-in-law thundered downstairs: "We have to go the hospital, NOW."
Seth, still confident they had plenty of time, arranged to have his sister-in-law come over to watch Ashe, and he, Alexi, their doula, and his mother-in-law got into the elevator. By this time, Alexi was in an "intense amount of pain."
"It seems now it's just one long contraction," Seth said. "We get into the lobby of our building -- I had called an Uber, the Uber is outside -- we basically get to the steps of our building, we're in the lobby of our building and we're walking outside, and my wife is like, 'I can't get into the car, I'm gonna have the baby right now, the baby is coming.'"
Meyers and the doula insisted to Alexi she was fine. Alexi responded, "The baby is coming. The baby is -- the baby is out."
The doula checked. The baby, indeed, was out.
"I looked at my wife, and the only way I can describe how my wife looked -- she looked like someone who was hiding a baby in a pair of sweatpants," he laughed. "It was like someone was trying to sneak the baby on a plane."
Team Baby Meyers ditched their plan to Uber to the hospital, and frantically had to decide whether to stay in the lobby or go back onto the elevator ("Those are terrible options when what you're looking for is a hospital"). Alexi decided for them all as she lay down on the lobby floor.
"We sort of created like a semi-circle around her, and we undressed her, the baby was just -- out. The head of the baby was out," said Seth. "This is how fast this happened: I called 911 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.'"
"I went from someone calling in about an emergency to sharing good news with a stranger. Like, 'Yeah, it's a boy!'" he joked.
Alexi calmly cradled the newborn against her chest as FDNY and NYPD swarmed the lobby: "The amount of people that were in our lobby was insane," Seth Meyers said. "What, you don't believe the entire Fire Department came into our lobby to help us deliver our baby?"
He whipped out a photo to prove it, hordes of uniformed FDNY and EMT crouching over Alexi and the baby. Another photo shows Seth laying next to his wife and their baby on the floor, grinning up into the camera as a fireman administered oxygen to Alexi.
One of the firemen cut the umbilical cord ("That is something I guess they also know how to do," Seth joked), and in the midst of fall this, the doorman was coralling neighbors outside the lobby, Seth Meyers said.
"The other thing is, my wife was facing -- her legs were like facing the elevators. And thank God no one came down, because that would have made for so many awkward interactions for the rest of the time," he said.
He added: "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 am so glad we are already co-op approved."
Still, despite only knowing his neighbors a very short time from seeing them in the elevators or the lobby, "I cannot tell you the kindness we experienced from them. People were running up to get us blankets, they were putting towels in the dryer so we'd have warm towels to put on the baby. It was just an incredible outpouring of kindness from people we barely knew."
The EMTs loaded Alexi onto a stretcher and got her into a waiting ambulance outside the building. Meyers noticed a car stuck behind the ambulance on the one-way street and motioned apologetically to the driver, to which the driver responded by rolling his eyes and throwing his hand up in exasperation, "which was the most New York thing."
They all got to the hospital safely, and mom and baby are just fine.
Seth thanked everyone who assisted, including their "incredible" doorman, the NYPD, the firemen from Engine 24, the EMTs, the doctor and staff at Lenox Hill Hospital. And also: "The Uber driver who charged me. I mean, for real. Because we did you a huge favor."
The late night host and SNL alum proceeded to explain the touching story of Axel's middle name, which was Alexi's grandparents' last name.
"I never met my wife's grandparents. They were Holocaust survivors who met the day after they were liberated. They met in a hospital in Austria."
Tearing up, he said, "And days like this, you really -- you know, when someone's born, you have such appreciation for everyone in your lineage who lived so you could have this moment."
He continued emotionally, speaking of his wife, "Just the speed in which she took this guy and had him on her, and I was watching -- the kid's gonna be fine forever because of her."
"She's really amazing," Meyers said, breaking up. He added, jokingly, "I'm getting choked up thinking about how brave I was."
Welcome to the world, Axel Meyers. You're a real New York kid.