Big Surprise, Tiny Package

MIDLOTHIAN, TX — This tale begins as all forms of human life begin — with the birth of a baby. Emergency lights and sirens punctured the stillness of the sleeping neighborhood and startled the neighbors awake on April 29, 2013, at 5:00 a.m. They must have wondered what calamity had befallen one of their friends. Happily, it turned out there was no disaster. Rather the opposite. It was the most precious of miracles — a baby — born in the bathroom to David and Wendy Hein. David is a Midlothian native and graduated with the class of 1998.

1113mid-wWendy grew up in Indiana, and while on a trip to Texas, she met David on a dating website called “It was so cheesy,” Wendy laughed. “I worked all the time, and he was working two jobs. We emailed and talked on the phone for a while, and when I was convinced he wasn’t some crazy person, we met in a public place. We had our first date at the Black-eyed Pea restaurant and hit it off instantly. We would talk for hours on the phone.” Nine years later with four kids — Chris 11, Clara 6, Heidi 2, Kaitlyn now 7 months — and two dogs, the family has become the talk of the neighborhood and even outside the city. “It’s funny because David runs into people in Dallas, on his appointments, who know our story,” Wendy said. At 4:30 a.m., Wendy awakened in pain, not quite sure if she was having contractions. “David started following me around and began to time my contractions,” she stated. “When he started, they were five minutes apart. I went into the kitchen to fix the kid’s lunches. I made it through the first lunch and had to stop. I told David he had to do it, because I couldn’t finish them. When the contractions became two minutes apart he went to call a neighbor, and I went to get dressed. Our neighbor across the street, Kristen Lepper, was coming right over.”

Not yet comprehending the immediacy of the birth, David declared they should go to the hospital. “I was calm,” he shared. “I wasn’t really thinking it was going to happen. With the previous pregnancies, she acted the same way.” Wendy, already realized the desperateness of her situation. “‘No!’ I said. ‘I can’t go. It hurts too badly!’ He looked at me like, ‘Are you serious?’” David left the room to go call for help. But, he was not gone long when the baby started to crown, which made Wendy start hollering. With David busy on the phone, Kristen arrived. “Wendy was screaming in the bathroom and two of the kids were sitting in the mudroom with their backpacks,” Kristen explained. “Then Wendy cried out, ‘The head’s out, the head’s out!’ When I got to the bathroom, Chris and Clara were both on hand to hear their baby sister’s first cry. Chris was amazingly calm through the entire event.

Wendy was literally holding the baby in, and as the baby slid out, I caught her.” That action earned Kristen a place on the baby’s birth certificate as a witness. “I never even pushed,” Wendy exclaimed. “We were both screaming at that point.” Meanwhile, David was still on the phone, nervously asking the operator, “What do I do?” He recalled. “They said to tell her not to do anything. I said, ‘You don’t understand. It’s happening now!’ I don’t think they believed me until they finally heard the baby cry. After a small pause, they said, ‘Can you hold on for a second?’ I could hear them saying, ‘Cancel East Texas Medical. We need the Midlothian Fire Department Dispatch!’” Initially, at the point of delivery, Wendy’s hands were shaking so bad she was glad Kristen was there to catch the baby.

But the situation turned critical quickly when they noticed the baby was not breathing and blue. “She wasn’t crying,” Kristen explained. “I was shaking so bad I had to give the baby back to Wendy to suction.” When David heard Kristen cry out that the baby was blue and she needed a bulb syringe, he dropped the phone and ran to get the syringe. He then ran to the closet to get shoelaces off of his tennis shoes to tie off the umbilical cord. Upon hearing the baby was blue, Wendy immediately said, “Give me the towel.” She then started to stimulate the baby. For the sake of full disclosure, Wendy is an OB (obstetrics) nurse and knew exactly what to do. “I don’t know if it was my training, or if it was having my fourth kid and you just know what to do. It was automatic. It was such a blessing that everything was OK.” About that time, the firefighters arrived and an entire new level of excitement was injected into the scene. “The firefighters were so excited, because they never get calls like this,” Wendy shared. “They took the baby into the bedroom, wiped her down, diapered her and got her into a warm blanket. She was alert with no problems and wide awake. It was a party in the house, with all the firefighters and neighbors. We recognized many of the firefighters, because they had grown up in Midlothian with David. And, of course, all the neighbors wanted to know what’s going on because this is a close cul-de-sac.” Chris and Clara awakened during the ordeal. Little Heidi, blessedly, slept through everything. “I wasn’t really scared,” Chris stated. “I just thought, When I get to school I can say to everyone, guess what happened today! It was like 5 o’clock in the morning, and I was told to stand outside, because the fire department was on its way. I kept saying, ‘Go this way, down this hall and take a left,’ as the firefighters and ambulance people came into the house.” Chris and Clara were both on hand to hear their baby sister’s first cry.

1113mid-wideChris was amazingly calm through the entire event. No doubt it was because he had been on high alert for weeks for his mom going into labor. He recalled that every time the phone rang in his classroom, he would rise halfway out of his chair, ready to bolt to the door and into action. “It was such a blessing that God gave us good neighbors, the abilities that I needed to have to help out in the situation, and we have awesome kids who helped out and held their own,” Wendy summarized. “We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” David stated. “What really gave me the confidence was I knew that as long as Wendy was OK, then I was going to be OK, too.” Sometimes the best things in life are surprises that come in the most unexpected and tiny packages.

Written by Betty Tryon.