MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (Feb. 15, 2011) --
With his pregnant wife on the verge of giving birth beside him, Staff Sgt. Johnathon M. Waytas frantically drove himself and his wife in their four-door SUV down U.S. Highway 70 toward the Morehead City, N.C., hospital Feb. 7.
Waytas, an aviation ordnance instructor with the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Marine Unit Cherry Point, said he wondered if they would be able to make it.
“I decided to pull over and call 911,” Waytas explained. “I stated this is who I am, this is where I’m at.”
Waytas and his wife had pulled over into an empty parking lot behind the Bojangles fast food restaurant in Newport, N.C., which is about halfway to the hospital that had discharged them only a few hours earlier – saying labor was not imminent.
“I knew I was going to have my baby,” said Waytas’s wife, Bethani.
She was right, but she and her husband couldn’t have imagined under what circumstances.
“We were pulled over and Bethani said she thought she was ready to push,” said Waytas.
He speedily began adjusting the seats, pushing the automatic tilt and back buttons at the same time, positioning his wife in as comfortable of a position their Jeep Commander would permit.
“Then, I went ahead and delivered the baby and got back on the phone with dispatch to ask what to do next,” Waytas stated.
Dispatch told him to tie off the umbilical cord, which he did with one of his shoelaces, thereafter taking the shirt off his back to wrap around his wife and newborn daughter – 6-pound, 12-ounce Krisily L. Waytas.
“I was a shirtless guy in the parking lot,” Waytas joked. “Everything happened so fast.”
He estimated the time from when they pulled over to when the baby was born was about two and a half minutes, and it only took about another three minutes for the paramedics to arrive.
The paramedics cut the umbilical cord, loaded mom and Krisily into the ambulance and headed straight for the hospital with Dad following.
Upon arriving to the hospital, Waytas said the doctors were shocked and said his wife set a land speed record for delivery.
The family was relieved.
“I must have done something right,” said Waytas. “Everybody is here and healthy.”
In all, Waytas said he kind of got what he wished for in having his daughter born Feb. 7, because his birthday is Feb. 8.
He added, “We were kidding around with doctors and saying can we hurry up and deliver her today so we can have separate birthdays. I really didn’t mean for it to happen that fast.”
“It was an experience most dad’s don’t get,” said Bethani, jokingly adding he was making up for not being able to make the birth of their first daughter, 3-year-old, Allexis, because he was deployed to Afghanistan.
“I got the full experience of this,” Waytas said. “I’m really proud of my wife and admire the way she dealt with whole process. The stars aligned and everything worked out right.”