Airman delivers under pressure

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Joel Pfiester
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Most baby delivery stories seem to follow the same storyline. In the early stages of labor, the mother begins her contractions and heads to the hospital, then some odd amount of hours later, the baby is born.

However, for one Airman and his family here, their baby story followed a slightly different script.

On July 20, Senior Airman Paul Stewart, a low observable structural maintainer with the 509th Maintenance Squadron, and his wife, Lindsey, were able meet their second daughter sooner than planned.

"We woke up that morning and she was already three days past her due date at that point, so we knew she was coming," Stewart said. "Lindsey's labor with our first daughter, Anna, was pretty fast …She was in labor (with Anna) for maybe three hours and the doctors had told us that the second one is usually quicker, so we needed to be to the hospital fast.

"By the time she realized that she had gone into labor, she was already in so much pain that she could hardly even walk," Stewart said. "It took me a few minutes to get her downstairs and out of the front door, and right as she was stepping into the truck her water broke. At that point she couldn't even move so I had to actually pick her up and put her in the truck."

After being loaded into the truck, the Stewarts set out for the hospital, which was a short drive from their home near Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.

"I got out onto the highway and was only on the road for a couple of minutes, but we didn't have enough time," Stewart said. "I pulled over to the side of the road and as I got around to her side of the truck and started to call 911 -- it was already happening."

Stewart reacted on the spot and was successfully able to deliver his daughter right there on the side of the road. At approximately 10:42 a.m., Emily Elizabeth Stewart was born weighing in at seven pounds, four ounces.

"By the time 911 could figure out what was going on and figure out what they needed to tell me, Emily had already been born," Stewart said. "They didn't really have a chance to walk me through the actual delivery process but they were able to help me by telling me to clean her face up so she could breathe and all of that kind of stuff. Luckily we had two blankets in the truck so she was born on one and I used the other one to clean her up and wrap her in it to keep her warm."

Approximately five minutes later, the ambulance arrived and provided additional care for Lindsey and Emily.

"My wife is a trooper," Stewart said. "She did great and was out of the hospital the next night, but Emily's oxygen saturation levels were low so she spent about 10 days in the hospital. She's doing great now."

Despite the urgent and unorthodox events that took place that morning, Stewart will always remember and cherish the day Emily was born.

"It is definitely a memorable story I'll be able to tell my daughter one day," Stewart said. "Of course, the birth itself was nerve-racking but at one point Lindsey and I both started nervously laughing. We just couldn't believe what had happened and even under the circumstances, we were really excited to meet our new daughter. My main take away from the whole experience was that the Lord was watching over us and it's an excellent idea to have an extra blanket in the car at all times."