Baby's early arrival turns husband to midwifery But paramedics arrived in time for home birth WEST COLUMBIA

October 01, 1992|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Staff Writer

When Damon Rutherford thought of his first child being born, he pictured doctors, nurses and a hospital assisting his wife, Debra. He never imagined himself as midwife at the couple's Columbia home.

But when Mrs. Rutherford went into labor at 2:40 a.m. Tuesday -- 12 minutes before giving birth to a healthy girl -- he had little choice.

"We had an entire different picture of what would happen," said Mr. Rutherford, 30, a systems analyst for Johns Hopkins Applied Physics.

Mrs. Rutherford, 26, had their first child, Katherine "Katie" Anne, at 2:52 a.m. Tuesday in the family's home on Cross Fox Lane in the Village of Wilde Lake. The 7-pound, 9-ounce, blue-eyed baby had not been expected until Sunday.

At 2:40 a.m., Mr. Rutherford called a 911 dispatcher and said his wife was in labor in the bathroom and he could see the baby's head.

Dispatcher Tom Baker advised Mr. Rutherford to stay calm, and said paramedics were on the way.

The emergency crew arrived minutes later, to Mr. Rutherford's relief.

"I got up and switched positions," he said. "I was down there ready to catch."

Paramedics delivered the baby, and mother and child were taken to Howard County General Hospital.

They were expected to be released from the hospital yesterday.

"Had nature come a little quicker there's no doubt in my mind MrRutherford would have successfully been there to deliver his own child," said Battalion Chief Donald R. Howell, a spokesman for the county's fire and rescue services department.

"We're just happy we had a positive ending to this," Chief Howell said. "So often we see the negative side of our work." At-home deliveries occur eight- to-12 times a year in the county, he said.

From her hospital bed yesterday, Mrs. Rutherford joked that the experience has made her think twice about giving birth again.

"Right now, adoption sounds good," she said.

"It was a great roller coaster ride," Mr. Rutherford said. "It was wild."

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