Right up front, I’ve given you the happy ending, so you don’t need to be concerned when I tell you he was born in the service elevator.
The service elevator isn’t exactly a calm and sterile birthing suite, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do; and that’s what Katie Thacker did.
Blake is the second child for Luke and Katie Thacker. Katie began experiencing contractions around 4:15 a.m. on Wednesday. The snowy weather made for a rough drive to the hospital and Katie’s labour was progressing quickly.
By the time they reached the emergency room, “She was getting pretty close to having the baby,” Luke recalls.
Katie, Luke, and their entourage including Katie’s mom, Katie’s sister, the midwife and three nurses, entered the service elevator for a quick shuttle up to the birthing center on the 14th floor of the hospital.
At the 12th floor, the elevator stopped and opened its doors; which was odd, since no one had asked it to. They decided to abandon the service elevator in favour of an elevator that didn’t stop at random and fling its doors open.
But only some of the party made it off. Luke, Katie’s mom and sister and a nurse managed to disembark before the possessed service elevator closed its doors and continued on its quest for the birthing center.
Alarmed, Luke and his half of the party rushed up stairs to meet the elevator on the 14th floor…but it didn’t come. The nurses called hospital maintenance, the elevator company and the fire department, but Katie remained trapped.
“To be honest with you, I was just praying,” Luke admits. “I was really scared, just because of the unknown. The minutes seemed like hours.”
But, elevator or no elevator, Blake’s time had come and Katie delivered him, with the assistance of the medical staff trapped with her.
Luke stayed in contact throughout the delivery, through the use of a walkie-talkie. Once the elevator doors were opened by technicians, Luke was able to step down into it and cut his son’s umbilical cord.
“I took my son and handed him up to a nurse,” Luke says.
Perhaps luckily, Katie remembers very little of the delivery, “I was kind of out of it,” she says.
“I kept saying, ‘Did I just really have a baby in an elevator?’”
For his part, Luke expressed his relief,
“I was just happy to hear my son cry. Everything went smoothly, considering the circumstances.”
Blake has been nicknamed Otis, in honour of the madcap elevator that brought him into the world. – Jen R, Staff Writer
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