SERE instructor delivers baby in base housing

  • Published
  • By Sheila Rupp
  • 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Jarod Savage and wife Linda spent more than nine months preparing for the birth of their first child together. They planned to go without drugs and use a natural method of childbirth, but still anticipated giving birth at the hospital. Baby Micah had other plans.

When Ms. Savage went into labor early Nov. 19, Sergeant Savage was called into action and delivered their healthy baby boy, who they named Micah, in the bedroom of their home on base.

"Our plan was to stay home as long as possible, and when contractions were four to five minutes apart we were going to head to UNM hospital," Ms. Savage said.

The couple took classes on The Bradley Method, which teaches natural, drug-free husband-coached childbirth and relaxation techniques to cope with pain during labor. Ms. Savage says she experienced Braxton Hicks contractions for a month and all were false alarms. But Nov. 19 at 3:30 a.m. she started having intense contractions and woke her husband up by her deep breathing. Although the baby was already nine days overdue, she says she still thought it could be another false alarm, but Sergeant Savage knew immediately it was the real thing.

"He just sprang into action, getting everything ready to head to the hospital," she said.

He called his supervisor, Tech. Sgt. Tony Proctor, and asked him to watch older brother-to-be, 4-year-old Aiden. Sergeant Savage said that although his wife's contractions were intense and close together, he thought they had time to get to the hospital. "I was so focused on getting her to the hospital - that was my saving grace!" he said.

In an effort to get his wife to the car, Sergeant Savage tried to have her crawl when it became apparent she could not walk there.

By the time Sergeant Proctor made it to the Savage home, it was clear that the couple would not make it to the hospital.

"I could hear her yelling when I got to the front door and when I walked in she was already on her hands and knees," Sergeant Proctor said.

Sergeant Savage recalls that his wife said, "We're going to have the baby here, call 911."

Sergeant Proctor helped to gather blankets and anything else he could do to help prepare for Micah's arrival.

But baby Micah couldn't wait for the paramedics to arrive, he had already crowned and was making his grand entrance into the world. Sergeant Savage delivered Micah, who was still in encased in the amniotic sac until his shoulders emerged. Baby Micah was delivered at 4:56 a.m., at which point Ms. Savage said he "just popped out."

"I basically caught him and I'm just kinda holding him like wow ... and then the fire department arrived," Sergeant Savage said. "It (the experience) was an absolute miracle."

Sergeant Proctor says the proud new dad stepped right in and did what needed to be done. "He did a phenomenal job with the whole thing," he said.

Team Kirtland Fire Department members were the first on scene and Scott Mathena arrived just in time to clamp the cord and clean up the new baby.

"He was amazing he didn't even hesitate, he said 'Hi, I'm Scott' and went right to work," Sergeant Savage said.

Four-year-old Aiden played with Sergeant Proctor while his dad delivered his new little brother. He kissed Micah on the head before they left for the hospital but asked his mom not to scream next time because it hurt his ears.

The paramedics took the family to the University of New Mexico Hospital where Ms. Savage and Micah stayed for almost three days because the baby was jaundiced and for precautionary testing because of the in-home delivery. He was otherwise very healthy and weighed in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces and is growing rapidly, gaining almost a pound by his two-week well-baby checkup.

Sergeant Savage works as a survival, evasion, resistance and escape instructor in the 342nd Training Squadron, Detachment 1, here. The couple met in 2005 on the last day of a temporary duty assignment Sergeant Savage had in Florida and have been married since January of this year.

"We have all kinds of stories I can't wait to tell him (Micah)," Sergeant Savage said about the stories of how he and his wife met and how Micah was born.