A soldier’s wife was waiting for her husband’s homecoming while holding a handmade sign. While others around her were smiling, though, she was grimacing in pain. The woman knew that she needed to get to the hospital fast, but she was determined to pick up her husband first.
Katrina Wythes is from Ventura, California, and her husband, Marc, is in the Marines. Careers in the military often come with sacrifices, and towards the end of 2016 Marc was deployed on a mission, leaving his wife and his young daughter at home. It would be months before he was able to return.
What’s more, while such absences may be par for the course for those in the military, the timing of this particular deployment was especially problematic. That’s because Katrina was pregnant, and by the time her husband’s mission had begun, she was already three months gone. The couple’s second child was due on May 25, 2017.
And the whole time that they were separated, the couple joked about the timing. Why? Because it looked as though Marc would return sometime around the due date. The pair even used to laugh about it, saying that perhaps Marc’s homecoming ceremony would prompt the first contractions.
However, by the time the month of May came around, the couple realized that the situation was no longer something to be joked about. It was the end of the deployment, and the Marines were about to return home to their families. Yet there was one wife in particular, of course, who needed them to hurry.
Just one hour after she had found out that her husband was boarding the plane home, Katrina felt the first contractions. Yes, the hypothetical situation that the couple had giggled about was becoming a reality. The baby actually was on the way.
“It was almost comical,” the military wife admitted to CBS New York in September 2017. As the hours went by, however, she could feel that things were stepping up a notch. Still, knowing that her husband had stopped off in Alaska en route home, Katrina sent him an encouraging message.
“I think you better hurry!” the text read; and Katrina attached a picture that would tell her husband everything he needed to know. She had a contraction timer app, and she sent him a photograph of the data; clearly, it was time to get a move on.
A video of what happened next has since gone viral on YouTube. In just a few months, in fact, the vid received over 70,000 views, which goes to show the truly remarkable nature of this story. The first shot is filmed at the homecoming event, where family and friends await their loved ones.
In the foreground, Katrina can be seen standing with her 15-month-old daughter. They’d even made a sign that read “Not a drill, baby’s coming.” But while mom and daughter seem excited in the footage, the grimaces on Katrina’s face show how much the labor is kicking in.
Then out of the crowd of uniform-clad men steps Marc. Tenderly, he embraces his wife and daughter after the months spent away from them both. It’s an emotional scene – but it doesn’t last long, because there’s somewhere else that the family need to be.
The next shot shows the couple getting into the car. Katrina then says to her husband, “Shall we go have a baby?” To which he replies, “We should go have a baby” as he puts the keys into the ignition. And off to the hospital they sped.
Before long, Katrina started pushing. Then just six hours after the expectant mom had picked up her husband, baby Julianna was born. The whole thing was caught on camera, too, including the incredible moment that Katrina held her newborn daughter for the first time.
In actual fact, Katrina gave birth ten days ahead of schedule – on May 15, not on May 25 as they had expected. Thankfully, though, Marc had made it just in the nick of time and didn’t miss out on the birth of the couple’s second daughter.
“Monday, May 15, was one of the craziest days of our lives,” wrote Katrina underneath her video, and it’s a statement that’s not hard to accept. After all, Katrina very nearly gave birth without her husband by her side.
It seemed, though, almost as if Katrina had made a special agreement with her baby. “I just prayed my heart out and begged baby girl to wait for her Daddy. Luckily, she did just that!” she wrote. Meanwhile, people online simply couldn’t believe the remarkable timing.
The comments rolled in on various versions of the heartwarming video. “What an amazing day! Cannot believe you stood through labor all day. You’re a hero!” someone wrote. Another commenter, meanwhile, said that they “couldn’t think of a more deserving family.”
It’s no surprise, of course, that people were amazed by the perfect timing of Katrina’s labor. After all, even the happy mom herself was dumbfounded. She couldn’t get her head around the fact that the thing she and her husband had joked about had come true. “I didn’t actually expect it to happen,” she told CBS New York.
But how did Katrina manage it? Well, it seems that her determination to attend her husband’s homecoming was key – and that the adrenaline helped prolong her labor for just long enough. Fortunately, her own mom was nearby, too – something that would have been especially useful had baby Julianna come any sooner.
Meanwhile, a subsequent video of the couple’s eldest daughter meeting the newborn also received thousands of views. And its happy scenes prompted some heartfelt comments from many in the online community as well. “I’m in tears of pure joy watching this. Absolutely beautiful,” someone wrote, echoing the sentiments of many others.