CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Mo. – “A lot of eating and sleeping,” that’s what Katie Burton says her new baby, Levi, does.
He’s Burton’s third child, so she already knew what to expect in terms of pregnancy, and labor and delivery. But Levi was coming into this world on his own terms. He was born in the car on the way to the hospital.
Burton says she was three days past her due date Tuesday when she knew it was time.
“I told my mom ‘I need to push. I feel like I need to push.’ And she’s like ‘oh no, no, no, you can’t push.”
Burton and her mom left her house in Nixa and headed to Mercy in Springfield.
“We didn’t make it in time,” she said.
Burton’s mom had called 911 on the way
“We started going down the hill and saw the flashing lights, and dispatch told us to pull over in front of him,” Burton said.
That was Deputy Lachlan Hicks’ patrol car. He had just seen another car speed through a stop light.
“I attempted to catch up to that car, actually initiated a traffic stop to what I thought was the right car, but it wasn’t,” he said.
The wrong car put him in the right place at the right time.
“So I let him go and there was a green Dodge that was sitting in front of me,” he said.
It was just past 4 a.m. along Highway 160 near Highway AA. Deputy Hicks approached the vehicle but had no idea what would happen next.
“Sure enough that ‘s when I met Katie,” he said.
By the time the deputy grabbed his gloves, Levi was ready.
“Pretty much as soon as we pulled over, Levi was born,” Burton said.
“I knew it as game time and I knew there as no waiting around for EMS,” Deputy Hicks said.
“He was there to catch Levi,” Burton said.
Deputy Hicks says although he had been trained and warned such situations might happen in the field, it was his personal life that prepared him for this moment. His daughter was born just six weeks ago.
“My wife’s delivery was the first time. I actually caught my daughter. It really helped with this because I knew what to expect. I knew as far as what the umbilical cord would look like, what the baby would look like,” he said.
He said the umbilical was around Levi’s neck.
“Being able to remove the umbilical cord from his neck and see him start to cry and see the relief in Katie’s face… I just can’t believe that that just happened,” he said.
But this was not the first time he had earned his badge. In June, Deputy Hicks was shot at. He was not injured. But he says it doesn’t compare to Levi’s birth.
“I felt more nervous about that than being shot at, to be honest,” he said.
But says he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s the best job in the world,” he said.
Because his calling he says is to serve. And Katie says she wouldn’t change anything about how her youngest was born, either.
“We’re happy and healthy and now I have a nice story to tell him,” she said.
Deputy Hicks has only been a deputy for just a little over a year and has already been through some defining moments in his career.