‘Don’t let him board the plane; she’s already arrived!’ The entire airport applauds a soldier who is facetiming the birth of a girl.
“On Thursday morning, I went to my regular doctor’s appointment, expecting to be booked for an induction for a week. Brooks and I had been practising our call to the Red Cross because we’d heard it was difficult to get men home for births, and we’d been told the only way it would work was if I was in distress, which we were disappointed about because I wasn’t having any problems with pregnancy other than a little high blood pressure. To continue, my blood pressure was really high at my checkup, so they took blood tests and sent me home. After informing Brooks there was no way he was going to make it home, I got a call from my doctor saying my pressures were too high, the baby was agitated, and I was preeclamptic. She instructed me to get at the hospital in an hour and they would start the process of inducing labour. Brooks was ecstatic when I phoned him panicked! I then called Red Cross to inform them that it was an emergency and that all they needed was clarification from my doctor. When I get at the hospital at 3 p.m. on Thursday, they confirm my condition and inform Brooks that he needs to book a flight from El Paso (Fort Bliss mobilisation to deploy to Kuwait for a 9-month deployment) to Dallas, then to Jackson, but that he won’t be able to do it until until 10 a.m. the next day! I was certain we’d already be expecting a child by then! But at the very least, he’ll be home for four days, so I’ll take what I can get.
Pitocin was started at 7 a.m. on Friday morning after my water was broken. Brooks arrived at El Paso International Airport at 10 a.m. (mountain/daylight time) and boarded his plane at 11 a.m. central time. He called me at 2:38 a.m. central time, when the plane landed in Dallas and I was 5 centimetres dilated. He was supposed to leave at 3:55 p.m., but luckily, his flight was delayed until 5:45 p.m. Brooks would have been in the air and unable to FaceTime if not for that delay! I quickly decided who would be in the room with me during labour: Dee Anne, my stepmother, and Teresa, my mother-in-law! At 5:00 p.m., the doctor came in to check me out and said it was ready to go!
My mother-in-law FaceTimed Brooks while tucking the phone into the front of her blouse. The Doctor inquired what she was doing when I started pushing, and when she saw my Doctor Brooks’ face on the screen, she recognised what was going on.
(Millie was delivered by a different doctor who was unaware of the circumstances.) My doctor instructed her to take out her phone and show him what was happening. Brooks was reassuring me that everything was fine and that I was doing well, and I could hear him cringing and exclaiming, “Wow!” through my pushes. I could hear people talking and applauding in the airport! Brooks went on to claim that he was being forced to board and that he needed to get off as soon as she started to crown, and all I remember is my Doctor yelling, “Don’t let him board the flight!” She’s arrived! ‘She’s arrived!’ As a result, the airport staff allowed him to sit and watch till it was over!
When it was ended, he turned off his phone, got on his plane, and landed in Jackson airport at 7 p.m. Millie was delivered at p.m.5:23 (21 inches long, 6 ounces, 7 pounds, 2 weeks early) when Brooks arrived at the hospital.
It was only Millie and myself when he walked in at 7:20. He took her up and held her for five minutes, saying things like “wow, I can’t believe we just had a baby,” but I was already anticipating his departure four days later.
He told me about the folks on his aircraft who were cheering and watching, and I told him that if Ellen called, it would be nuts. Someone told us to check Facebook the next morning since we had over 1,000 shares and 20,000 likes. We assumed that was the end of it, but NO WAY! It’s still going!
I’ve received some of the kindest notes, as well as messages from other military wives and mothers asking how I got in touch with Red Cross and brought him home, as well as any advice. Random strangers sent gifts to our rooms, and nurses came in to thank Brooks for his service! It’s been an incredible, emotional day filled with so much love!”