Sunday, April 6, 2008


A warm welcome to our newest kinsman, Wyatt Andrew Staffenhagen, the son of Melissa and Thomas Staffenhagen of Lake Stevens, Washington. Wyatt was born on February 22, 2008. He shares his birthday with his great-great aunt Janne Fecht of Tarzana, California. He weighed 8 pounds, 7.8 ounces and was 19 inches long.
Are you ready for this? Wyatt is the great-great-great grandson of Margaret (Bost) and Jacob Fecht.
Here is an article from the Everett Herald Newspaper about Wyatt Andrew Staffenhagen's arrival.
Lake Stevens baby born in family's dining room By Bill Sheets
Herald Writer - Everett, Washington
LAKE STEVENS -- Since moving into their home last year, Melissa and Tom Staffenhagen never used their formal dining room for anything much -- until a couple weeks ago.

Now they have, but not for dining. Melissa had their fifth child there.

While out-of-hospital births are frequent story lines for television and movies, the Staffenhagens joined what's actually a small group of families who can't postpone nature's timing.

Of the 4,098 moms who received birth care at Providence Everett Medical Center last year, eight of their babies were actually delivered at home or on the way to the hospital.

"That's less than 2 out of every 1,000 births," said Dr. Steven Sharmahd, who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology at The Everett Clinic.

It was Feb. 22. Melissa Staffenhagen, 36, was three days past her due date.

It was about 1 a.m. when she knew baby Wyatt was on his way.

The couple were prepared. They called friends and family to let them know they were heading to Providence Everett Medical Center. Melissa's mom, who lives nearby in Lake Stevens, was on her way over to sit with their other children.

Everything was ready. The couple 

headed to the garage.

Melissa stopped. "We can't go," she said.

"What are you doing?" asked Tom, 35. "This is the part where we get in the van."

Melissa turned around, walked back into the house, put a blanket down and laid down on the floor.

"We're having this baby," she said.

"I'm going to call an ambulance then," Tom said.

"Do that, because we're having a baby," Melissa said.

Tom recalled trying to get her to go to the back of the house, "to try to save her some dignity."

"I'm not moving," was Melissa's response. "I was half on the carpet, half in the dining room."

Paramedics were called. Meanwhile, Melissa's mom, Pam, had arrived. Their daughter Leigha, 13, their oldest, was playing it cool. "But I could tell she was nervous," Tom said. Leigha held it together, though, and retrieved some towels.

Wyatt being Melissa's fifth child, the 911 dispatcher told her not to push, just to let him come.

Her water broke. Paramedics arrived at about 1:35 a.m.

Melissa, a 1990 Lake Stevens High School graduate, knows some of the employees of Lake Stevens Fire District 8 and was screening them as they walked in.

"'I don't know you, you can come in,'" she told them.

Five minutes later, after just two pushes, Wyatt was born.

"I was on one side, (Pam) was on the other, and the paramedic did the catching," Tom said. "It was like dumping a bowling ball out of a wheelbarrow full of water."

Wyatt had something their four other children didn't when they were born: hair.

But everything looked in order, and it was time to go to the hospital. The Providence nurses had been notified that a woman who'd had a baby on the floor at home was on her way in. They were ready.

"It was like I was in a parade or something, with a lot of nurses looking at me," Melissa said.

All was fine -- Wyatt Anthony Staffenhagen weighed in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces -- and mom and baby came home after about a day and a half.

Births in unexpected places, such as in a home or in a car, often occur because the labor isn't as painful, or it is a lot quicker, than expected, Sharmahd said.

"When it happens, it's so rare that people hear about it every time," Sharmahd said. "It's certainly an opportunity for them to tell that story over and over again, to friends and neighbors, for the rest of their life."

The Staffenhagens have nothing but praise for paramedics Curt Middleton – who did the "catching" – and Shane Nelson.

"They were patient, they were understanding, and they walked into a very stressful situation for us, but they were fabulous," Melissa said.

Melissa didn't expect this birth to be so easy. Her fourth child, Brady, 3, was her hardest, she said. In addition to Leigha and Brady, their other boys are Anthony, 11, and Travis, 8.

Melissa said as strange as it was to have a baby in her dining room, it could have been worse. If they'd gotten into the van, "It would have been on Lundeen (Parkway), or on the (U.S. 2) trestle," she said.

They're calling the archway between the dining room and living room of their home "Wyatt's Arch."

Tom, an employee of Kimberly Clark in Everett and also a Lake Stevens grad, and Melissa met in high school and began dating after graduating. Tom said he's glad he can say his son was born in Lake Stevens. The couple has lived in the city their whole lives.

"We're definitely never moving now," Melissa said.

Anthony Staffenhagen, Thomas Staffenhagen, Wyatt Staffenhagen, Melissa Staffenhagen, Travis Staffenhagen


Gerald R. Fecht said...

Betty Brietenfeldt comments:
That was a neat story about the birth of our latest kinsman.

Gerald R. Fecht said...

Nouna Fecht wrote:
What a great story. It is so nice to find out about family and their new members.
Thanks. Nouna