"Oh my God, I just caught my own baby," were the words Bill Middendorf uttered to a 911 operator on the day before Mother's Day.
Five weeks from that frantic call, Bill and his wife Anna Middendorf held their second healthy child on Father's Day, reflecting on the drama of baby Grace's arrival.
It was an unexpected end to what was a healthy, full-term pregnancy, RTV6's Chance Walser reported.
"They thought it was a prank call when he called, because they get those every so often," Anna said.
"Dear God, what do I do?" Bill asked the operator, who asked, "You just caught a baby? Just stay on here with me. Is somebody there with you?"
Bill responded, "My wife, who I just caught the baby coming out of her."
In the hours before the call, Anna had been feeling contractions. At one point, her labor coach came over but eventually left, not realizing Anna would not be delivering the child at a hospital, as planned.
At 11:15 a.m., Anna was moving from one room to another when it happened.
"I had three painful contractions, and then she was here," Anna said.
Moments later, after Anna and the newborn made their way to a nearby bed, Bill ran outside to flag down and ambulance, and Anna took the phone.
Asked if she was dizzy or nauseated, Anna replied, "No, I'm just trying to make sure my daughter is OK and keep it together."
They were able to keep it together until emergency personnel arrived to take mom and baby to the hospital.
Grace was born at 6 pounds, 2 ounces in a very nontraditional way.
"The grace of God got her here safely, and she came with such Grace and elegance into the world," Anna said.
"To be the first person to look into your daughter's face and hold your child for the first time outside of anybody else is just, no words can describe how that feels," Bill said.
The Middendorfs spent Father's Day with Grace and their 1-year-old son, Robby, who is adjusting well to having his new sister around.
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