Danville dad catches baby during birth

Photo ProvidedReis Wallie Stephenson was in a hurry to make his arrival Thursday morning, with his dad literally catching him in a hospital parking lot.

DANVILLE – A Danville baby boy was in a hurry to make his arrival Thursday morning, with his dad literally catching him in a hospital parking lot.

Caleb Stephenson and his wife, Stephanie, welcomed Reis Wallie Stephenson at 8:25 a.m. Thursday in the parking lot at OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana.

Reis, who weighed 5 pounds 11 ounces, has a big sister, Tinley Nora, 2.

Stephenson said his wife called him Thursday morning shortly after he arrived at work at Westville Junior High School, where he is a teacher’s aide.

“She called me at 7:10 to come home because she thought it was time,” he said.

That came as a bit of a surprise since his wife’s due date wasn’t until Aug. 24. Stephenson recalled that when his daughter, Tinley, was born a couple years ago, his wife was in labor 12 hours and pushed for another five hours.

The couple made the trek to Urbana on Interstate 74, thinking they had plenty of time.

“We made it there in 45 minutes, and she thought she was going to be admitted to the hospital,” he said. “We thought we had more time.”

But, as soon as Stephenson pulled into the hospital parking lot, Reis had a different plan.

“My wife said, ‘The head’s out and the baby is coming out,’” he said. “I was going to run (to the medical center) and get someone, but she said, ‘No, you have to stay and catch him.’”

When asked if he had any medical training to prepare him to deliver a baby, Stephenson replied, “I sure don’t.”

“In five or 10 seconds he shot right out and I caught him,” he said. “I handed the baby to her and sprinted inside the hospital.

“Eight or nine nurses came outside, and they put her on a gurney with the baby on her chest,” he said.

Stephanie and Reis were released the next day from the medical center and both doing well.

“We’re home now and everyone’s healthy,” he said. “We’re grateful for everything.”

Stephenson said he is looking forward to telling Reis about his special delivery when he gets older.

Reis’ paternal grandparents are Brad and Gina Stephenson of Alvin and his maternal grandparents are Rich and Darlene Miller of Danville.

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