It’s Valentine’s Day. If you’re married and/or in love — not always a given — the day can lead to romance, which may then parlay into, well, intimacy.
Many potential byproducts are possible from this supreme bonding moment, including an emotional high, a greater closeness, even a commitment. On the downside there are sexually transmitted diseases, the feeling of having been used and great regret.
Regardless of how you feel about any of those outcomes, the one that I want to focus on is the outcome of ... a baby. And I mean that literally.
My wife and I had three babies. Well, it would be more accurate to say that she had the babies. My participation during the births was to offer emotional support, including shrugging off the occasional insult, fielding assorted threats and once even a bite.
Having witnessed these births did not in any way prepare me to be the one handling the delivery. I delivered two babies during my time as a cop.
The first occurred a couple of years into my career. It was a summer night, one of those when people leave their windows open to catch the breeze and listen to the crickets. The streets were empty, and I was on duty, just driving around, when the radar gun on the dashboard flashed a reading of 81 mph.
Since there were no headlights coming toward me. I reached up to turn off the radar when it flashed 74 mph — and, suddenly, headlights appeared.
The car shot past, and I turned around to pursue. The car pulled over, and a young man jumped out — then immediately jumped back in to throw it into park. I was out of the car and heard wailing.
The driver yelled, “My wife is having a baby right now!”
I immediately called for an ambulance, but it was too late.
Long story short, it was a young BYU couple experiencing their first birth — and my first delivery. Upon seeing me, the mom-to-be became absolutely convinced that the miracle of life could be accomplished with her pants firmly in place.
I tried to calm her down — tough to do while her husband ran around the car, shouting, “Jolene, let him take your pants off,” loud enough to be heard blocks away.
The baby’s head was out when the ambulance showed and the emergency medical technicians took over. I had blood and baby juice on me and a firm conviction that I would never again find myself in such a position.
I was wrong. A few years later, I was dispatched to an “unknown medical problem.” Again it was the middle of the night.
This time the expectant mother was a baby outcome veteran. While trying to walk out to the car, she abruptly stopped, and said, “Nope. Here we go.”
She laid down in the doorway and pulled up her nightgown and gave me orders through clenched teeth. There was only one: “Don’t let him — touch the porch.”
Either because I was terrified by what I had to do, or what she might do to me later if I didn’t, I followed her directions to the letter. The kid did not touch the porch. The ambulance showed up a minute too late.
For those of you who plan to consummate Valentine’s Day with a special moment, have a happy one. But please plan the outcome carefully and remember: I am most definitely off-duty.
Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.