Waukesha couple Jason and Christina McCaffery planned to give birth to their second child, a boy, the "old-fashioned way": in a hospital, with doctors and nurses at their sides and the latest medical technology at their disposal.
They never made it as far as their front door.
But that wasn't a problem because local dispatcher Amanda Huenink was able to talk the McCafferys through their unexpected home birth late last month, and other Waukesha police and emergency medical services personnel arrived at the couple's home just minutes after baby Jack was born.
The McCafferys met Huenink and the other assisting department staff, thanked them for their service and introduced them to 2-week-old Jack on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at the Waukesha Police Department, 1901 Delafield St.
"We just really can't thank them enough," Christina McCaffery said. "We're very blessed that we live in such a great community."
Baby born on bathroom floor
Capt. Dan Baumann said Huenink – who is still in training as a dispatcher – took the frantic call from Jason McCaffery around 2:07 a.m. Jan. 31. McCaffery told Huenink his wife was in active labor, and Huenink talked the McCafferys through their unexpected home delivery.
Christina McCaffery said she woke up about an hour earlier that night with a contraction. As the intensity of the contractions steadily increased, and they became more regular, she said she knew the baby was on its way.
"The rest was history," she said, "in about six minutes on the bathroom floor."
A police sergeant on patrol near the couple's home overheard the call and, despite a small snowstorm, raced over to help them in any way he could. Local emergency medical services weren't far behind, Baumann said.
By the time police and EMS personnel arrived, the baby had been born.
Baumann said Wednesday that Huenink and the sergeant will receive special commendations from Police Chief Russell Jack for their efforts.
Change of plans
According to the McCafferys, nothing that happened during the day leading up to baby Jack's surprise arrival led them to believe anything was out of the ordinary.
In fact, they had planned to induce labor later on the morning Jack was born. They had an appointment scheduled for 8 a.m.
"We were scared (during the home birth), but my husband kept his calm," Christina McCaffery said.
Jason McCaffery had a slightly different assessment.
"I'm feeling great now," he said. "But I wasn't feeling great then." Still, he credited Huenink with easing his nerves, and said the ordeal wouldn't have been manageable without her and the department's help.
"It was scary," Huenink said. "Taking that (call) was a little nerve-wracking."
But, she continued, "not many people get to have this experience, so I feel really lucky."