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mom pulls over; newborn; delivers baby
Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash

Mom with newborn baby on her chest

Giving birth can be serene and magical, filled with swear words, death stares and some serious contemplation on why you thought having a baby would be a good idea. Preparing for birth is often meticulous; everything is planned out months in advance, bags are packed by the door and your favorite doctor or midwife is on speed dial. You worked hard to get things in place and everything should run as smoothly as a well oiled machine. But for one mom in Kentucky, that birth plan went out of the window.

Heather Skaats, 34, is no stranger to having babies and likely can tell a doctor a thing or two about how her deliveries are going to go after after six children. Heather was three weeks away from her due date for her seventh child when she started having light contractions. When in labor with her older children, the mom labored for hours so she was not terribly concerned when she started experiencing mild labor pains. Skaats told Today Parents, “I thought I wouldn’t have a baby in my arms until eight or ten hours later.”


Due to her history with her other labors lasting so long and her contractions being light, Heather decided to run some errands before it was time to call the midwife. The plan was for the seasoned mom to have a water birth at home, but baby had other ideas. While Skaats was driving her contractions intensified and she had to pull over. Now is a good time to note that all five of her other children were in the car, ages ranging from 2-13. Skaats’ other child, Leilah died of cancer in 2016 at the age of 4.

After pulling over and reassuring her kids that everything was OK, the mom got out of the car and squatted down when she felt her water break. Skaats said, “I put my hand down there and his head started coming out with his body,” she said. “I didn’t even have to push. It was so quick. I was on the phone with my husband, Nick, and 20 seconds later, I was like, ‘He’s here!’”

Heather was able to catch her son, who started crying right away. But the birth story doesn’t end there. Mom and baby had to make it back to the house with five other shell shocked but excited kids. She was able to wrap the baby in a blanket and drive the family back to the house while she held him close to her chest. Once Skaats made it home she delivered her placenta in the shower with the help of her 13-year-old daughter, Kaelynn. The midwife arrived shortly after.

As for how she remained calm throughout the whole unexpected ordeal, Heather said, “I think having home births in the past sort of taught me to trust my body. Knowing the process really helped.”

Currently the newest member of the Skaats clan doesn’t have a name but the parents are considering the names of the cross streets where he made his grand appearance, Wolf and Porter. No matter what name they choose, there’s no doubt the story behind his birth will be the talk of the town.

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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