On family’s living room floor, an unexpected delivery


Kalynn Wachs holds Kristopher, born May 2 in the couple’s home. Cody Wachs has 3-year-old Karter, who slept through it all. (Nicole Clark/The Enterprise)
June 12, 2013

Kalynn Wachs had it all planned. Her second son was expected May 1. Her bags were packed. When the contractions became strong and frequent, her husband would drive her to a birthing center in Annapolis, where their baby would be delivered in a soothing water bath.

“I’ve always enjoyed the water. I thought it would be a very therapeutic experience for me,” Kalynn Wachs said. But baby and Mother Nature had plans of their own.

She delivered her son Kristopher on the living room floor at 1:02 a.m. May 2 in the family’s military housing quarters at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Kalynn’s husband, Cody, a sailor, held his wife’s hand and “played catch,” ushering his son into the world. Kristopher weighed in at 9 pounds 2 ounces.

Friends and co-workers have spent the past month calling the surprised father “Dr. Wachs.” But he said his wife “did all the hard work.”

The whirlwind started after the Wachses had driven about two hours to the Annapolis birthing center April 30. Once Kalynn Wachs got there, her labor stopped. She said the center asked her to return home and come back when the contractions started again. She spent some of the day shopping, came home, “took a catnap” and cleaned the house.

“We didn’t make it to bed that night,” she said. About 11:15 p.m., she “felt that small pop” and figured her water had broken, but there was no other sign of it. She lay down, and by 11:30 p.m., the contractions “were really strong,” she said June 3, holding her newborn in the living room where he was delivered.

She had called her midwife, who told her to get into the bath. Instructions were clear. If the contractions stop, go to bed. If they get stronger, go to the birthing center.

In the tub, “I started shaking,” Wachs said. “It took a couple of minutes for me to realize it was my body pushing the baby out.”

Cody Wachs said there was no way he was driving her back to Annapolis. He started loading the car to take her to a hospital a few minutes away in Leonardtown. Meanwhile, his wife got out of the tub and “got on my birthing ball and started rocking back and forth.” When the car was ready, she headed downstairs, saying she wanted to use the bathroom before they headed out.

She never made it. In a few seconds,, she was on the floor. Her husband was holding her hand and yelling upstairs for his mother-in-law to bring him some towels.

“I was standing at the top of the stairs with a toothbrush in my mouth, saying, ‘What do we need towels for?’” Betsy Ryan said during a call from Auburndale, Fla. “He said, ‘We’re having the baby now!’ ”

Ryan ran to get the towels and slid them under Kalynn Wachs. “Before we knew it, the head was coming out,” Ryan said. “I told her, ‘one good push and he’s here.’ ”

And that’s exactly what happened.

Cody Wachs, a petty officer second class, called 911 at 1 a.m. The baby was born at 1:02 a.m., and the ambulance arrived at 1:08 a.m.

Big brother Karter, 3, slept through it all.

On June 3, he said, “I feel good” about the new family addition. If he’s not helping Kalynn, he said he likes to sing “You Are My Sunshine” to Kristopher.

“To leave those grandbabies was very difficult,” Ryan said. She called her boss and said she’d be in Patuxent River another week after the birth. “I swear, I can’t get enough of that child,” Ryan said. “It was such a sweet little blessing.”

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