Mom gives birth in Tacoma hospital's stuck elevator

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by JOE FRYER / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 18, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 18 at 8:02 PM

TACOMA, Wash. -- In this wintry weather, Katie Thacker, who was nine months pregnant, would have thought getting to the hospital would be the biggest challenge.  But it turns out that was the easy part. 

It was after they arrived at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma early Wednesday morning that Katie, her nurses and midwife got stuck in an elevator.

"I was in such hard labor that I was like, 'Are you kidding me?'" Katie said Wednesday afternoon.

Her husband, Luke, was waiting to greet her on the 14th floor.  But she never made it.  The elevator was trapped between the 12th and 14th floors. (There is no 13th floor at the hospital.)

"I don't think she was in the elevator more than 10 or 20 minutes and I heard my son cry," Luke said.

Katie gave birth to a healthy baby boy in the elevator.  It took about two more hours to get the elevator doors open, but the actual elevator was still stuck between floors, so Luke crawled down so he could cut the umbilical cord and see his baby boy.

Their new son earned the nickname Blake "The Snowflake" "Otis" Thacker.  (Otis is the name of a well-known elevator company, although they were not stuck in an Otis elevator.)

"It's really not going to stick, I hope," Katie said of the nickname.

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