Around the time when our July/August “Food Issue” arrived in subscribers’ mailboxes, special deliveries from “the stork” arrived for the families of two Omaha Magazine staffers.
One of those families is my own. My wife and I became first-time parents with the birth of our baby girl, Faye-Marie.
The next week, an office-wide e-mail shared good news from a colleague in advertising. Omaha Magazine branding specialist Josh Peterson welcomed his third son into the world.
Because of our staggered editorial deadlines, these births coincided with the middle of production on this September/October issue.
Because Josh is a more experienced parent—and he had the audacity to hand-deliver the baby—we share his story here.
The Art of Baby Catching
story by Blair Emsick
Upon arriving at the hospital to give birth to their third child, Josh and Stephanie Peterson had two questions: Can we deliver standing up, and can Josh catch the baby?
The husband and wife had discussed these possibilities with their doctor previously, but she was out. The on-call doctor quickly responded, “No,” to both questions. Josh didn’t want to push (no pun intended), so he let it go. However, upon learning that Josh was an EMT and was interested in learning the skill (just in case he ever had to deliver a child in the back of an ambulance), the on-call doctor agreed to let him “catch” his child.
Experiences during the childbirth of their first two boys influenced Josh’s desire to catch baby boy No. 3.
Twenty-five hours into labor on baby No. 1, doctors realized that Andy was stuck and had to be delivered via C-section. Stephanie’s platelets were low, so she had to be anesthetized for the procedure. She was unconscious for the first few hours after the birth as well. Although Josh was the first to hold his baby, he missed those first special moments between mother, father, and baby.
Then with baby No. 2, Connor came six weeks early and had to be rushed to the NICU right after being born. Yet again, Josh and Stephanie missed that special post-birth cuddle with their newborn. Instead, they watched doctors insert an IV into their newborn’s head.
With their third, Josh and Stephanie wanted to do it right. “I thought, ‘Well, there is no way this can go worse than our past births,’” Josh says. He was right. When Stephanie went into labor, and after the doctor gave the go-ahead, Josh gowned and got into place.
“Now, I know what crowning really means,” Josh says with wide eyes, remembering the experience. Then, after what felt like a nanosecond, Rory was right there in his arms—alive, healthy, breathing, and crying. Josh quickly passed the baby to his wife, but that first moment, to be the first person to touch his newborn, is something he will never forget.
Mother, father, and baby were finally together—happy and healthy. It was just like they had imagined. Perhaps the third time really is the charm. Catching baby Rory, Josh says, was “the coolest thing I’ve ever done.”
This letter was printed in the September/October 2017 edition of Omaha Magazine.