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Katie Thacker, Washington Mom, Gives Birth On A Stuck Elevator

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 01/19/12 02:00 PM ET Updated: 01/19/12 02:05 PM ET

If you thought the whole stuck-in-an-elevator-with-a-pregnant-woman-in-labor was just a fun television plot line, think again. Yesterday, second time Washington mom Katie Thacker made it to the hospital, but gave birth somewhere between the 12th and 14th floor.

At about 4:15 am, Thacker started laboring and it progressed quickly. Her husband Luke Thacker rushed her to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington. "She was getting pretty close to having the baby," he told the News Tribune.

Once there, Katie, Luke, three nurses, Katie's mom, sister and midwife all got on an elevator headed for the 14th floor birthing center. Unexpectedly, it stopped on the 12th floor and the doors opened Luke told the Tribune. He decided to get off with Katie's mom, sister and one of the nurses. The doors closed behind them and the four ran up two flights of stairs. But the elevator never arrived -- it got stuck.

Nobody -- including hospital maintenance crews, elevator company representatives, and the fire department -- could fix the lift system. And baby Blake couldn't wait. Thankfully, there were still two nurses and midwife on board with Katie, and they delivered him right there -- 7 pounds, 15 ounces.

"The minutes seemed like hours," Luke said. Though he was scared, he was able to monitor the delivery via walkie-talkie. And then, when technicians finally got the doors open, he climbed down to cut the umbilical cord. He handed his son up to a nurse, and mom was taken out on a backboard.

Later, Katie said she was more "out of it" than afraid. "I kept saying, 'Did I just really have a baby in an elevator?'" she recalls.
The new parents have nicknamed the baby Otis, after Otis Elevator Company, the world's leading manufacturer of elevators whose motto is "a constant 'reliable' name for more than 150 years."

10 Crazy Places Women Have Given Birth
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  • In A Tree

    In 2000, Sofia Pedro <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2000/mar/02/mozambique1" target="_hplink">climbed a tree</a> to escape the floodwaters in Mozambique, Africa. The brave mom held onto branches as she delivered her baby Rosita. A few minutes later, they were rescued by a South African helicopter crew, umbilical cord still attached.

  • At McDonald's

    In 2007, McDonald's employee Danille Miller -- who didn't know she was pregnant -- felt a sudden urge to run to the bathroom during her shift. A few minutes later, she <a href="http://www.babble.com/CS/blogs/strollerderby/archive/2007/12/30/baby-born-at-mcdonald-s-mom-didn-t-know-she-was-pregnant.aspx" target="_hplink">gave birth to baby Austin</a>. Sources were unable to confirm if she changed her greeting to, "Would you like a baby with that burger?"

  • In A Library

    Dominique Trevino was on the way to the hospital by bus in 2009 when she started <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_11573019" target="_hplink">having contractions</a>. Another passenger, who worked at the hospital, told her to get off at the library. Once inside, library security pitched in to help deliver her baby girl. She only had to push twice.

  • At A Post Office

    Sonia Marina Nascimento stopped by a <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/cambridgeshire/8050190.stm" target="_hplink">post office in England</a> to buy a mobile phone credit -- but got more than just a top up: she went into labor and gave birth to a baby girl right there. The post-master, who put the baby on the scales (and handled her with care?), said she weighed "the equivalent of an £8.22 first class parcel."

  • On A Sidewalk

    In 2009, Tiffany Kohls gave birth a few <a href="http://www.wkow.com/Global/story.asp?S=11431007" target="_hplink">feet away from a hospital</a> in Wisconsin. She said there was no stopping her son Kellen's arrival. Security guards and a nurse helped delivered him.

  • In A Car (That She Was Driving)

    In 2010, Amanda McBride felt like she was <a href="http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/05/minnesota-woman-gives-birth-while-driving-herself-to-the-hospital/1" target="_hplink">going into labor</a>, so she picked up her husband -- who suffers from seizures -- and headed towards the hospital. While en route, her water broke and her husband took the wheel. "And then, all of a sudden, I heard this little waa-a-a-a (cry)," he said.

  • On A Highway Shoulder

    A New Jersey couple was on their way to the hospital when mom Alshesirca started having contractions on the <a href="http://www.northjersey.com/news/transportation/011011_Woman_gives_birth_on_parkway_husband_delivers_child.html" target="_hplink">Garden State Parkway</a>. Dad-to-be Nelson pulled over and delivered his baby on the side of the road with a 911 operator guiding him. "I was just glad we were driving our truck and not our Civic," said mom.

  • At 40,000 Feet

    In September, Aida Alamillo was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/21/baby-born-on-plane-nation_n_973437.html" target="_hplink">flying from Manila to San Francisco</a> when she went into pre-term labor. Three nurses on board and cabin crew members helped deliver baby Kevin Raymar Francis Domingo --"Francis" because they were en route to San Francisco.

  • On The Internet

    OK, so she was technically at home, but Nancy Salgueiro set up a high-definition video camera in her living room in Canada to <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2011/10/17/ottawa-live-birth-online.html" target="_hplink">livestream the birth of her son</a>. More than 2,000 people registered to watch online. Her two-year-old son cut the umbilical cord.

  • In An Art Gallery

    Performance artist Marni Kotak <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/26/marni-kotak-performance-a_n_1032365.html" target="_hplink">made headlines</a> earlier this year when she announced her plans to give birth inside a New York art gallery because it is the "highest form of art." With approximately 20 people in the room, she delivered baby Ajax in late October. Footage of the birth will be added to an upcoming exhibition at the Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn.

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