When it's time to be born, a baby has the last word
When a baby is ready to enter the world, it takes a lot more than bad weather and a power outage to change its mind.
That's exactly the scenario that took place during the early morning hours of Dec. 26 at the Benton home of Josh and Katie Broadus.
Katie, who was nine months' pregnant, was scheduled for an induced delivery on Dec. 28, but daughter London Kate didn't want to wait. This, in spite of the fact that a snowstorm had occurred, taking out the electricity and heat in their home.
London Kate's birth occurred at 3:45 a.m. as her mother lay on the couch in the living room of the family's home in Coldwater Creek subdivision.
When Katie talked about the experience, she did so with an amazing sense of calm, but she was quick to explain: "I'm a nurse. I knew everything was OK."
Katie said she awakened about 1 a.m. "with cramps that I really wasn't sure were contractions."
"When we had gone to bed about 10 o'clock on Christmas night, we had been talking about what we would do the next day and playing in the snow was mentioned," she said.
"About 1:30 a.m., Avery came into our bedroom," Katie said. "She realized then that the power was out, but she went back to sleep.
"About 2 a.m. I knew I really was having contractions and they were getting stronger, so I called my parents, Mike and Teresa Rushing, who live on Brazil Road," she said.
Normally, the Rushings could reach their daughter's home in a matter of minutes, but because of downed trees and other weather-related obstacles, it took between 15 and 20 minutes for them to get there.
"They had to go around downed power lines in a neighbor's yard, then drive through a yard and then under a downed pine tree on Brazil," she said.
"They have a four-wheel drive vehicle and they literally had to drive under the tree that had fallen across a truck," she said.
"A piece of the tree was stuck in the truck and we're keeping that for the baby's scrapbook," Josh said.
The Rushings arrived at the Broadus home around 2:15 a.m., Katie noted.
Normally, Saline Memorial Hospital could be reached from the Broadus home within about four minutes, but these were anything but normal circumstances, Katie noted.
"My pains were getting stronger and close together, so Josh called 911 to get an ambulance," she said.
Various weather-related situations caused a delay in the ambulance's arrival, so those gathered at the home formed a delivery team of sorts, Katie noted.
That assembly by this time included neighbors Kim and Steve Womack, she noted. "Kim is a nurse and Steve grew up on a farm and has pulled cows, so I was well-covered," she said, laughing as she told about the chaotic delivery.
The delivery area was illuminated with the use of flashlights and lanterns, she added.
Josh, in the meantime, was boiling water and gathering equipment needed for the unscheduled delivery.
"My mom actually caught the baby, and Kim suctioned her nose and mouth," she said. "Steve tied off the cord, and Josh cut the cord and wrapped her in blankets to wait for the ambulance.
"When the ambulance arrived about 4:15, Josh met them outside and told them 'we've already had the baby,'" Katie said.
"He helped them get the stretcher into the house and they loaded us up and took us to the hospital," Katie said.
"We were both fine," she added.
"My parents stayed at the house with Avery," she said.
Josh, who has served 12 years in the Air Force and is an instructor for training squadrons, described his response as "kind of going into tornado mode."
But he wouldn't want to go through this kind of event again, he emphasized.
"This was worse than anything I had in basic training," he said.
Katie, continuing to smile and laugh about the incident, compared the birth experience to "something like in a movie."
Noting that he's originally from South Mississippi, Josh revealed that he had never seen a white Christmas before this one and had thought it would be nice to have one. Now, though, he has a different outlook.
"We're just lucky everything worked out the way it did," he said.
When Katie and the baby were released from the hospital on Dec. 27, they went to her parents' home because power had not been restored to their home at that time.
"We came back home Thursday night and we're all doing fine," she said.
Accounts of the birth have been widely circulated, Josh pointed out.
"I've heard from military buddies from several places, including Salt Lake City," he said. "This news is out everywhere."
Katie pointed out their good fortune in the fact that the birth was uncomplicated. "We're lucky she wasn't feet first and that the cord wasn't around her neck. If it had to happen when it did, it worked out as well as it could."