Woman births baby in bathroom
Lafferty VFD medics deliver girl at home
BELMONT — Newborn Katie Kildow is lovingly referred to as the “bathroom baby” by her parents and siblings — and there’s a good reason why.
On the morning of Sept. 27 she was delivered in the bathroom of her Belmont home with help from her father and the Lafferty Volunteer Fire Department. She is the daughter of Patty and Shane Kildow, and sister to Taylor, 9, and Luke, 7.
Baby Katie was scheduled to be born by Caesarean section on Oct. 13, but the little one had other plans:
Patty she said awoke at 12:30 a.m. to urinate and felt fine. At 1:11 a.m. she had some cramping and urinated again. By 1:14 a.m. she thought she might be having Braxton Hicks contractions, but there was some blood. She decided to call her mother, and not long after she began to feel ill and decided to call 911.
When the family realized the baby’s head was crowning, they realized they needed to take action until the emergency squad arrived. Patty got down on all fours and gently rolled over onto her back. Shane got ahold of an emergency room doctor at the facility where Patty works as an X-ray technician, Southeastern Medical in Cambridge, and received instructions on how to proceed with delivery of the baby.
“He delivered the head, I believe, at that point until Lafferty got there and they finished the delivery,” Patty said, noting Katie arrived at 1:38 a.m. “It was kind of scary. … But she was born on the 27th, I was in labor for 27 minutes and the squad number was 27.”
Patty said after they arrived at the hospital, she had to be induced back into labor to deliver the placenta, which took two hours.
“Sometimes I cry about it because it happened so fast and how lucky we are,” she said.
Patty said she is thankful her husband was there and that the Lafferty VFD medics were so nice.
“They were amazing. We couldn’t ask for nicer people,” she said. “We had them over to the house to thank them. Without them, who knows what would have happened? … Everything happens for a reason.”
Patty noted that if her placenta had come out with the baby, she may have had complications.
“There is so much that could have went wrong. We’re really blessed that nothing did. We didn’t have time to make errors,” she said.
Today Katie is doing well, but she is scheduled to see a cardiologist. She has a heart murmur, indicating there is an opening inside her heart.
“Sometimes it never closes, sometimes it closes by itself. We’re hoping everything works out,” Patty said.
Patty said Katie also has sleep apnea and has not yet passed the “car seat test,” which means when she uses a sitting car seat, after a few minutes her oxygen level drops along with her heart rate. Until that condition improves, she must use a car seat that allows her to remain lying down.
Patty said she wrote down the entire birth story for Katie’s baby book. She noted the rest of the family is adjusting well to having a new baby in the house.
“They love her to pieces. They always hug and kiss her every day. They couldn’t be more happy to have her,” she said.
For Lafferty VFD Assistant Fire Chief Dustin Hudak, helping deliver a baby was a life-changing experience.
“It was a very awesome experience … because my wife and I are trying to have a baby. My wife’s name is Katie also. … My training kicked in and we did not have time to think about anything else than helping the baby,” Hudak said.
Hudak said his chief and squad captain, Larry Zalesny, did the hands-on delivery of the baby. Zalesny said he has helped deliver five other babies before Katie during his nearly 40-year career. He has been with the department since 1978.
“The baby’s head was a fourth of the way when we arrived on scene. … So I said, ‘It looks like we are having a baby tonight,'” Zalesny said.
“I told her you have to push to get this baby out. She pushed one time and the head came the rest of the way out. I had the baby’s head in my hand. The cord wasn’t wrapped around its neck. I suctioned the nose and mouth out two times and the baby started crying — that was good,” Zalesny said.
“The baby was fine, so she pushed her the rest of the way out. … We tied off the cord and cut it and put her in the baby warmer, which is basically a bag that keeps the baby warm. We let grandma hold the baby and put the mother on the cot and took them to the squad.”
The baby and mother were taken to Southeastern Medical in Cambridge.
“The doctor in the ER was waiting for us. He evaluated the baby and said she was OK and told us to take her to the OB floor,” Zalesny said. “And that ended our part.”
Zalesny said although he had helped deliver five other babies in the past, Katie was the first baby where had to take the lead. The other people on the crew — Hudak; EMT Diane Hudak, who is also Dustin Hudak’s mother; and e-squad driver Jim Garrett — all were first-timers regarding baby delivery.
“I thought it was exciting to bring a baby into life,” he said. “I’m glad we were there in time. … They are a good family. They treated us good,” Zalesny said.
Zalesny noted medics receive training on delivering a baby, but “it’s totally different when it’s a real one.” He said he was happy to get to see the baby later during a visit at the family’s house, along with the entire crew on the call that night.
“It was nice to be able to hold the baby after she came home. A lot of times we don’t get to do that. I pray everything turns out. She is a special little girl to us,” he said.