NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Most women telling the story of their child’s birth include information about the doctors, hospitals and the baby’s father watching from the sidelines.
What Carolyn and Talon Potter experienced was not the average birthing story.
A nine-month pregnant Carolyn calmly counted the time between her contractions waiting for the two to three minute range as directed by her doctor. The two to three minute range would mean it was time for her to go to the hospital to give birth to her second child.
Staff Sgt. Talon Potter, 799th Security Forces Squadron security forces leader, was reading through a syllabus for a class he is taking when his wife Carolyn told him that she needed to go to the hospital because her contractions were close enough.
Before leaving, Carolyn decided to use the bathroom. As she walked through the bathroom door, she felt the urge to push.
“That’s when I realized there is no going to the hospital now,” she said.
Carolyn told Talon the contractions were getting really intense, and she could feel the pressure from the baby’s head. Talon called 911 at 1:07 a.m. and explained the situation to the dispatcher.
Both Carolyn and Talon were shocked by what came next. The 911 dispatcher told Talon he would have to deliver his daughter right there at his house.
Talon thought back to when his first daughter was born, and how there were three doctors and four people assisting for just one birth when he was told he would have to deliver his baby.
“I’m only one person; there is no way I can do this,” he said. “Once the dispatcher told me I was going to be delivering my baby, I just started crying because I was scared I was going to mess up.”
“I was in shock when I found out I was going to have my baby at home,” Carolyn said. “I felt I had at least four more hours because I [had] not been contracting for long.”
Talon was directed to lay his wife down in the birthing position. Carolyn’s mother, who was also there, took the role of runner, providing him with supplies such as towels.
When the dispatcher told Talon to grab his baby’s head, he did so without hesitation but deep down he said he felt terrified he might be doing something wrong.
“I was worried that I was going to pull to hard, or she was going to come out wrong,” he said.
Although he was worried, he quickly followed the directions given by the dispatcher.
“I pulled every time my wife pushed,” he said. “I did not hesitate; I took action and did everything the dispatcher asked me to.”
He said that his ability to take action without hesitation even while scared is something he has gained from his job in security forces.
“Even when you’re scared, you need to keep acting the part,” he said. “I learned [that] from my training and some real life scenarios while in security forces.
“During my daughter’s birth, I was acting the part of the doctor because I needed to,” he said. “In no way did I feel like I was capable, but it turns out I was.”
“It wasn’t hard to pull the baby out or to tell my wife to push,” he said. “The hardest part was the unknown and fighting what was going on in my head.”
After a few tugs, and only eight minutes after Talon’s call to 911, Ella Rose Potter was born.
Talon was relieved to see his baby breathing without him having to suction the liquid out of her lungs or having to pat her like most doctors have to do.
“She started breathing on her own about five seconds after coming out,” he said.
“After she was born I wrapped her in towels and tied a shoe lace six inches away from the base of the umbilical cord,” he said. “The dispatcher then asked me a few questions about coloration of my baby and the name.
“The dispatcher then told me that my work was done,” he said. “The paramedics will be there as soon as they can.”
The paramedics arrived about five minutes after Talon delivered his baby.
“Once the paramedics came in, I was able to feel the glory of being able to deliver my own child,” Talon said.
The paramedics took them to Centennial Hills Hospital to make sure Carolyn and Ella were healthy.