BEAVER DAM - By Ellen Cook, Headliner Media Specialist, January 23, 2022
Cade and Katie Walker had much to be grateful for. They started out 2022 as parents to two growing boys, six and three. They were also expecting a baby girl in mid-January, an added blessing to the growing family.
Cade was in his fourth year of medical school studying to be a doctor, with plans to start his residency in May. After three years in school in West Virginia, it was nice to get back home to the Bear River Valley, where they had both grown up, Cade in Deweyville and Katie in Tremonton. The plan was to stay with Cade’s parents, Frank and Traci Walker, continue school and clinical rotations here and await the birth of baby three, which was to be at Logan Regional Hospital.
Ah, the best-laid plans….
It was Thursday, January 20. A very pregnant Katie was four days past her due date. A good thing, she surmised, because Cade was busy with medical studies. “Cade had to finish something up for medical school. That ended on Thursday. So, I was okay if she wasn’t here.”
The previous births had been similar. In fact, she had been induced with both and hoped to avoid that scenario this time around. “I wanted to go on my own,” she said. It did not look like that was going to happen, however, as the birth was already scheduled for the following morning.
But it wouldn't hurt to try and make it happen, she reasoned, so raspberry leaf tea and eggplant were consumed to help bring on labor. “I even tried some of those wives’ tales’ stuff, you know, and who knows if they actually work?”
But no signs of impending labor appeared. The couple put their boys to bed about 9 p.m., and then decided to start packing for the planned birth on Friday morning.
“I had felt some minor cramping but nothing that felt like contractions at all,” Katie remembered. “I went upstairs and was trying to eat a little bit and I stood up.”
Katie’s water broke.
It was a new experience for her. She hurriedly called Cade, who was downstairs, and told him what happened. “What am I supposed to do?” she asked him.
Then contractions began. The hospital was called, and Katie called her parents, Dave and Kim Spackman.
“I told my mom, ‘I think I’m in labor, just so you know.’ But while I was on the phone with her, I had two more contractions.”
Her mother was concerned because they were so close together and encouraged the couple to get on the road as soon as possible.
But Katie said she had only had three or four contractions and following the previous routine with her births, “I have plenty of time,” she told her worried mother.
But the contractions increased and as the couple made their way to their car three more hit in quick succession.
Now alarm bells were ringing ever so softly. The couple pulled out of their garage to discover heavy snow falling, one more reason to worry. They pulled down the hill from their subdivision to Hwy. 38 and debated whether to head to Bear River Valley Hospital, which was closer, or continue over to Logan Regional as originally planned.
They turned right.
They never even made it to the county line. At Katie’s urgent insisting, Cade pulled over in Beaver Dam at 10:30 p.m.
One thing the couple is adamant about is documenting every aspect of their children’s lives and this was no exception. Cade had recorded audio about what was happening and then videoed the snowfall as they headed to Cache Valley.
On the video you can hear Cade tell his wife, “If you feel like this baby is coming, we can call 911. They can walk me through this. I can do this.”
And he did.
His medical training kicked in and served him, his wife and baby girl well. Little Kennedy Lou Walker, 7 lbs. 8 oz., made her appearance in the front seat of the family car at 10:40 p.m., on a snowy roadside. Her first taste of life was snowflakes falling on her face through the open door and 30-degree temperatures welcoming her arrival.
The umbilical cord was tied with an ear strap from a surgical mask. She was wrapped in a blanket from the car and dried with towels Cade had grabbed as they walked out the door earlier. Then Katie and Kennedy met for the first time.
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Cade said Fielding First Responders and Ambulance arrived about seven minutes later, but those seven minutes were special for the new parents.
“It was kind of nice,” Cade said. “It was a nice, peaceful moment for us because we knew baby was okay. We couldn’t believe it and we were both in shock, of course. We had a little moment where we could document this. We got a picture of the three of us and then we just kind of laughed about what just happened.” (Cade had also left his phone recording when he set it on the dash during the entire birth)
Arriving medical personnel assessed the situation, patted Doctor Cade on the back and then loaded mother and daughter into the ambulance for an uneventful trip to the hospital, where both were examined and given a thumbs up. Dad followed behind in the “delivery” car.
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The Walker family is now back together again in Deweyville. Two little boys are happy to welcome their little sister, Dad and Mom are still shaking their heads over Kennedy’s quick arrival, and Katie is left to wonder – was it the raspberry leaf tea or the eggplant that triggered the extraordinary birth in Beaver Dam?