Rock Star Mom Delivers Baby On The Freeway in Kansas City Missouri

October 30, 2014

The day started like many other, except my wife Aileen and I were expecting our third child, and every call from Aileen could be, “THE call.”  I was setting up for an auction 40 minutes away from the house in Pleasant Hill Missouri when she called.

Aileen said she was feeling kind of sick. I asked her if she needed me to come home, but she said no, and she would call call back if she needed me. 15 minutes later she called back and said she just had a strong contraction. I told her I was on my way, and to stay on the phone so I could time the contractions. Five minutes later she had another one, and they were lasting almost a minute. I told her to call the midwife and let her know what was happening, and I would call my Mom who was only five minutes away, so she could drive her to the hospital. Aileen said “the baby’s not coming today, because I’m not ready.” I assured her that the baby was coming regardless of her readiness.

My Mom arrived and I stayed on the phone with them. It took thirty minutes for Aileen to be convinced to get in the car. During that time, her water broke while in Lincolns bedroom. I managed to get to the house as she was walking down the steps to the mini van. With some delay due to severe pain and almost continuous contractions, Aileen managed to get in the van and I peeled out of the cul-de-sac towards the highway.

It’s important to note that this is our third child, and Aileens water broke at our home in the past and we always had plenty of time. However, this felt much different and I was pretty sure we needed to get there fast.

Not knowing how admissions of guilt work with violations of motor vehicle laws and the such, I am going to generalize here and say it this way. I was moving pretty fast on Highway 71 headed north while the other vehicles were not as properly motivated to get to their final destination.

As we approached the Red Bridge area, just before the Grandview Triangle, Aileen screamed that the baby was coming out. She screamed a few other things while she pounded on the door with a closed fist and did everything she could do to keep that baby inside. If there is one thing I can be certain of, that baby was in a hurry to join this family, and she was not negotiating on how she made her entrance.

As I crossed 4 lanes of traffic at a reasonably, cough, cough, rate of speed, to make it to the emergency lane, I looked over and Aileen had lifted her nightgown up. At that very moment, the baby’s head crowned instantly and within 8/10ths of a second she flew out towards the floorboard of the front seat like a greased football. What happened next will forever place my wife in the Rock Star Mom Hall of Fame. Without missing a beat, she reached down and caught that baby in the most perfect way possible. One hand received the baby’s head while the other hand received her butt. She scooped our little girl up and placed her on her chest, all within 2 to 3 seconds. This is the most awesome and impressive thing I have ever witnessed my wife do, and she does some pretty amazing things teaching and raising our kids. This all happened as I was still working to bring the car to a complete stop, which I managed to do 4 to 5 seconds later parallel to the 435 west/470 exit, in the heart of the Grandview Triangle. The time was 12:15 pm.

Our first concern was immediately relieved when our daughter started crying and turned from gray to pink within a couple seconds. Our next concern was relieved as we sacrificed her sister Isabella’s coat that was lying in the back seat, to keep her warm.

The immediate joy was overwhelming. Aileen started laughing and said “I feel much better now.” She even tried to convince me to take her back to the house. I laughed and told her we need to get her and the baby checked out.

Aileen gave me the number to the midwife and I called while continuing to drive to the hospital. A woman answered and I told her who I was, and that we were on our way to have the baby, but my wife delivered her in the front seat of the car. The woman then replied, “oh my gosh, I am an insurance adjuster and you have the wrong number!” I said, ok and hung up. After realizing I dialed the wrong number and dialing again, a nurse answered. I repeated myself in which the nurse asked, “did you call an ambulance?” I replied, no. We are a couple miles a way, and I will make it there before an ambulance makes it to me. She insisted I call an ambulance. I reassured her that the baby and mom are fine and asked where she wanted us to go, since the delivery was no longer necessary.

We met the nurse, two doctors, 4 other nurses, an orderly and 2 security guards at the ER entrance. Aileen had strapped the seat belt on, and now that the baby was on her chest, when she released the seat belt, the umbilical cord and her blouse were tangled up. The ER doctor, who was pretty cool, looked relieved to be involved in something life giving and fun rather than the gun shot wounds and trauma he probably has to deal with most of the time. He cut the cord in the car, and two nurses scooped the baby up to get her In a warmer while the rest of the team worked to get Mom on a gurney.

Mom and baby were checked in, and the rest of the boring and normal things they do after a healthy delivery proceeded to happen.

Baby girl weighed 8 pounds 7 ounces, and came in around 20 inches long. She is perfectly awesome, and Rock Star Mom is recovering well.

God is Awesome! He blesses me so often. Several things happened during all of this that has strengthened my knowledge of His love for me and my family.

This day, October 30th 2014 will forever be one of my favorite days. Lincoln and Isabella are excited to welcome their new sister into the family. Now, if we could only decide on a name.

Update: Gianna Lucia Mayo

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Just Another Day For Buck O’Neil, A Baseball Legend

October 16, 2011

Many years ago my wife and I were driving around Kansas City looking for something to do. We decided to check out one of the areas most under appreciated attractions, The Negro League Baseball Museum.

There were only a couple other people in the museum that day, and we were having a good time looking at the displays and reading about baseball history. Well at least I was, and my wife Aileen was being a good sport as she usually is.

We were only there for a few minutes when in walked through the door, the legenday Negro League Baseball player Buck O’Neil. Buck passed away in 2006, but would have been 100 years old next month.

I knew my opportunity would only last a few minutes so I ran to the gift shop and bought a baseball to ask Mr. O’Neil if he would sign it for me. He was gracious to say the least, and was happy to sign the ball. Bucks hands were so big that it looked like he was signing a golf ball, and I imagined that he could have played the game without a glove.  He was definetly in his element, and enjoyed visiting with fans who were there that day.

Several years later when he passed away, it was amazing to see how the city came together to pay tribute to man who was truly an ambassador for Kansas City and baseball. One week to the day he passed, I was working as an Auctioneer for a local childrens charity. Someone from the organization had donated a signed Buck O’Neil baseball. It was impossible to describe the energy in the room that day when we sold that ball. I can tell you though that it was electrifying and I was glad to be part of it.

I still own my signed Buck O’Neil ball, and enjoy the memory that comes to life when I glance at it in my office. For me it was a great day. For Buck, it was probably just another day for a man who loved Kansas City, baseball, and people.

Life is good – pass it on!


Judging a Book By Its Cover Is Never a Good Idea

June 26, 2011

Recently I was reflecting on a road trip that I took about 10 years ago with my wife Aileen to pick up a truck we purchased online. We bought the truck from an Bay seller in Texas and scheduled to pick it up over Memorial Day weekend.

It seemed like a great way to spend the weekend. We flew one way from Kansas City to  Dallas where the seller picked us up at the airport and drove us to his place of business where the truck was located.

The transaction went smooth, and we proceeded to drive our used Ford F-350 flat-bed truck back to Kansas City. We were making pretty good time, and our only agenda was to get back home by Sunday evening as I had a commitment to fly to New Hampshire early Monday morning for an important business trip.

Just south of Sulphur Oklahoma I noticed the temperature gauge started to creep up to a dangerous level. We pulled over to the side of the road and popped the hood to take a look. What happened next was a defining moment for our weekend. Coolant was spewing all over the road from several areas. Did I mention this was a holiday weekend?

Thank goodness for AAA. We made a call and they dispatched a tow truck to our location. As I finished making the phone call, a flatbed tow truck with a Range Rover on the back pulled up behind us. The driver stepped out and walked up to the front of the truck. This man was tattooed from head to toe, and to be quite frank was a bit intimidating as he approached us.

He did a once over on the truck and informed that my water pump had failed. He then asked me if we had someone coming to give us a tow. I updated him on AAA and we made small talk for a few minutes. We learned that his name was Billy, he lived about 75 miles away and was on his way home. He advised us to have the truck towed to Sulphur and thought it was going to be a challenge getting someone to do the repairs before Tuesday because of the holiday.

Before he left, Billy gave me his phone number and told me to call him if we had a problem getting someone to do the repair for us. He said he would help us out if we needed it. I thanked him and he went on his way.

We ended up having the truck towed to Sulphur and dropped in front of a hotel. After checking in we hit the yellow pages and made at least a dozen calls. Just as we thought, there was no mechanic willing to cancel their holiday plans to help us out.

After exhausting nearly all possibilities and getting ready to call my employer, I decided to call Billy to see what he meant when he said “he would help us out if needed.” What happened over the next 24 hours can only be described as a blessing and a lesson.

Billy said he would be there in the morning at 9:30.  He lived 50 miles north of where we were located, and drove about an hour to be there as promised. He brought his wife Sandy and his tools with him. Billy then drove me 50 miles south to the closest part store that had the water pump in stock. We drove 50 miles back to the truck and he proceeded to remove the bad pump on the one ton Ford truck.

Over the next 4 or 5 hours he worked on the truck, which was no small task working in a parking lot on a large vehicle. We talked, and his wife Sandy and Aileen visited as I handed Billy tools as needed. We learned a lot about each other over the course of that day. Billy’s father was a minister, and despite his hard and intimidating appearance, he was a kind and caring man who valued family first as well as helping others when he can.

After the truck was repaired, we shared a meal together at the hotel, and I offered to pay him for his time and expenses. He refused the money. He was genuinely there to help us get home. I felt obligated, and insisted. He had driven over 200 miles and spent an entire day helping us get back on the road. With reluctance, he accepted .

As we were getting ready to leave he let me know that if his repair failed in any way or something else went wrong, to give him a call and he would put the truck on his flatbed tow truck and drive us the rest of the way home to Kansas City. I am confident that he would have done what he said, but it wasn’t necessary. His repair work was flawless, and we made it home in time to get a good nights sleep before I had to leave in the morning.

As sure as I am typing this message, I know that God sent Billy and his wife into our life for more then one reason. Besides helping us get home to meet our commitments, he also taught us a valuable lesson about judging a book by its cover. I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet Billy and his wife Sandy.


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