08/26/04 — Dad delivers baby on side of road on way to hospital

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Dad delivers baby on side of road on way to hospital

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on August 26, 2004 2:02 PM

"Baby Bledsoe" is his name, and waiting to get to the hospital is not his game.

His name will change, but the story he is going to tell his grandchildren will not.

His parents, Ray and Carlette Bledsoe of Kenansville, delivered him in their Chevrolet Suburban beside the road on the way to the hospital.

Ray and Carlette Bledsoe and child

News-Argus/Kaye Nesbit

"Baby Bledsoe" is shown with his mom and dad, Carlette and Ray Bledsoe of Kenansville.

Early Wednesday morning, they had been on the way to Wayne Memorial Hospital to have their fourth baby. They had thought they would have several more weeks to decide about a name.

Mrs. Bledsoe awoke around 4 a.m. with contractions that were 12 minutes apart. Her husband took the other three children to school around 7:45 a.m. When he returned, she said, "We'd better go."

The pains grew more severe as they traveled up U.S. 117 toward Goldsboro. The contractions were still 20 minutes apart.

"Normally, it takes 45 minutes to an hour if you're driving like a sane person," said Mrs. Bledsoe of the drive from their home in Kenansville. "He had his hazard lights on. Every time I squeezed his hand, he went faster. We found out what a Suburban can do."

Her water broke somewhere around Mount Olive or Dudley. She's not sure.

All of the stoplights were green except one, and he cautiously eased through it.

"We'd gotten to the city limits, and she was starting to push the baby," said Bledsoe, who told her to hold on. "At Security Storage, she said the baby was coming. I called 911 while I was pulling over. I said, 'We need a paramedic ASAP!' I ran over to her side, pulled off her shorts and put the seat back down."

He grabbed some pillows they keep in the van and put them under her.

"My legs were up so God and everybody could see me," Mrs. Bledsoe said. "There were some men standing in the parking lot. He motioned for them to come over. They wouldn't. I guess they thought he was killing me. We heard sirens. He said, 'Hold it in, they're coming!'"

One minute later, she had a contraction, and the head popped out. About a half minute later, one more contraction, and he was out.

The sac was over his head. His face was blue. His dad pulled it off. He started crying. His color came back.

"I said, 'What do we have?'

"He said, 'Uh ... uh ...'

"His concern was if the baby was OK."

The paramedics pulled up and pretty much took over. The paramedics put down the time of Baby Bledsoe's birth at 9:18 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004.

She asked if Dad could cut the cord, but he couldn't. But the emergency medical technicians let him clamp the cord. They took Baby Bledsoe to the ambulance and said he was doing fine.

"Ray had his scary moments. ... He did a very fine job. He's my hero. I always knew he had it in him."

This morning, Dad sat in a big lounge chair in the hospital room.

Mom and baby rested in the hospital bed.

She's 35, a stay-at-home mom. He's 38. He works for Sprint. But they say they're thinking about opening a midwife service.

Bledsoe said his wife has always gone to Goldsboro Pediatrics for her babies. They have two boys, Patrick, 11, and Matthew, 5, and a girl, Josey, 6. They have all been born at Wayne Memorial Hospital.

"I tend to go quickly," said Mrs. Bledsoe. The longest labor, the first, lasted 25 minutes. "They've pretty much come minutes after we raise the door."

The last time, she said, she joked to her doctor, Peter Roethling, about letting her husband deliver the baby.

Another one of the doctors shot back saying he might give Bledsoe some umbilical clamps just in case.

But the ambulance got there in time.

"It's funny now, but it wasn't funny then," said Mrs. Bledsoe. "We always thought we would actually have one on the way. He said yesterday, if I have another one, we're going to move to Goldsboro."