Dear World,

My eyes widen.

Have her here?


Marcie crawls from the foyer to the dining room. I run to shut the blinds and lay blankets and pillows down. Marcie’s trying to breathe like the doctors say and I help her lay on her back.

She asks, “Can you see anything?”

Oh my God.
There’s her head.


Marcie and I looked at each other scoffing, “Rookie.”

A first-time mother had asked our birthing instructor what should you do in the case that you have to give birth on the side of the road. Seriously? That never happens.

We looked around the room at the other mothers anxiously scribbling notes in their journal logs and birth planners. I imagined a younger Marcie and I nervously sitting in our first birthing class doing the same thing, because there’s no other way to deal with the angst of having a baby for the first time than to try to prepare for everything, an impossible feat.

But this wasn’t our first rodeo. We were on baby number four and sitting in our third birthing class over the years. Despite my asking if this birthing class was really necessary, Marcie still wanted to go, and so we went.

The instructor looked at all the nervous faces staring at her after she was asked that question.

Her answer went something like this:

Women have been giving birth for thousands of years without any of the medical innovations we have today. The female body knows what to do. Trust the process! Men, wait for your partner. As her body begins to push the baby out—don’t pull the baby out— be patient. Once the head is in your hands, slightly twist the shoulders so they are vertical instead of broad.  Your wife will thank you later.


I look back at Zoe’s head coming out face-down. I can hear the instructors voice in my head: twist. I slightly twist her ninety degrees and she slides right onto my lap.

“The baby’s out!” I yell into the speaker of my phone to the 911 operator

“Make sure she’s breathing, that’s the most important thing,” the operator answers back.

Marcie and I sit there for a second and then Zoe starts crying. We both take a sigh of relief.

“She’s okay! She’s breathing!” I yell.

The umbilical cord is wrapped around Zoe’s neck, and I think back to Mya— my first daughter— and the day she was born. Mya’s cord was wrapped around her neck in the exact same way— so much so that her face was a little blue. I remember watching the doctor calmly unwrap the cord from Mya’s neck— and I do the same for Zoe.

Soon, the ambulance arrives and we take Marcie and Zoe to the hospital.

It’s 5 am when we arrive. All the nurses rush over: my wife’s like a celebrity. The mom who delivered in her dining room. A nurse asked if I was Doctor Dad and I quickly said, “Yep, I delivered the baby.” She answered, “Well, technically you caught the baby.”


I Caught The Baby


It’s funny, you never think this stuff would happen to you. In that birthing class, I wanted to tell all of those first-time parents that they can relax a little bit, it’s going to be alright for everybody. We have great doctors and a relatively great health care system, there’s no need to be this anxious.

Eventually you’ll stop hovering over the baby when you realize that they regularly make noises when they sleep. But the learning never stops, the moments of surprise never end.

I look at Marcie, the best wife and mother I can ask for, and I’m glad that we can learn and make new memories together.

Zoe’s delivery could have gone completely different had there been any complications.

We feel lucky and blessed that it all went as smooth as it did. And now, we have a story that will live on forever in our family— and a dining room floor that we’ll never quite look at the same! 


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