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Speedy delivery: West Fargo police, paramedics get calmer look at boy-who-couldn't-wait

FARGO - When Beckham John Welk was born two weeks ago, he was the center of attention with his urgent and unplanned entrance.But in a conference room at F-M Ambulance on Friday, Nov. 3, the boy-who-couldn't-wait mostly snoozed, ceding the spotlig...

F-M Ambulance EMT Lindsay Skavlem holds 2-week-old Beckham Welk on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, while paramedic Mike Sylstad and West Fargo police officers Grant Richardson, rear, and Pete Nielsen look on. The four teamed up to help deliver Beckham on Oct. 20 at the West Fargo home of his parents Nikki and Eric Welk. Helmut Schmidt / The Forum
F-M Ambulance EMT Lindsay Skavlem holds 2-week-old Beckham Welk on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, while paramedic Mike Sylstad and West Fargo police officers Grant Richardson, rear, and Pete Nielsen look on. The four teamed up to help deliver Beckham on Oct. 20 at the West Fargo home of his parents Nikki and Eric Welk. Helmut Schmidt / The Forum

FARGO - When Beckham John Welk was born two weeks ago, he was the center of attention with his urgent and unplanned entrance.

But in a conference room at F-M Ambulance on Friday, Nov. 3, the boy-who-couldn't-wait mostly snoozed, ceding the spotlight to his mom, dad and the police and paramedics who were just in time.

It was the first meeting of the group since Beckham's birth on the bathroom floor of the family's West Fargo home on Oct. 20.

Emergency medical technician Lindsay Skavlem, paramedic Mike Sylstad, and West Fargo police officers Pete Nielsen and Grant Richardson took turns holding the infant who they helped into the world.

"It was just the perfect ending to a terrible pregnancy," Nikki Welk said of the hurried birth. "The biggest thing is ... he was healthy."

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Nikki Welk had endured an achy pregnancy, including a couple of bouts of kidney stones, so some back pains starting about 6:15 a.m. didn't seem like cause to worry, she said.

Her husband, Eric Welk, said the birth of their first child had taken a long time. But this time, "Everything happened so fast."

Nikki, a physician assistant, had planned a day of pumpkin painting and going to Yunker Farm with her 2½-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old neighbor. (The couple also have a 16-year-old daughter.)

Eric had gone to work as a Moorhead firefighter. About 8:30 a.m., Nikki started having contractions and she called Eric, figuring they would have the baby in a day or two.

"Then, 8:45, he's on his way home," and Nikki said she called him again. "I told him he better get home right now, because we're going to have the baby now. And then he got home at like 9."

She was getting dressed and packing a bag when she felt the urge to go to the bathroom.

"And I couldn't get off the toilet. And he said you're either getting off the toilet or I'm calling the ambulance."

Eric made the 911 call at 9:13 a.m.

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Nielsen was the first to arrive on the scene, followed by Richardson. When Nielsen arrived, he helped get Nikki to the bathroom floor for the delivery.

"I've done it before," Nielsen said, and he knew they had to move quickly. "I said, 'You have to get on the floor. We can't have it in the toilet.'"

When she got on the floor, Nielsen said he looked at Nikki and told her, "This is coming now."

The F-M Ambulance team arrived to take over the delivery. And Richardson helped by passing them items from a medical kit.

"I couldn't get the stuff to her (Skavlem) fast enough," Richardson said.

By 9:25 a.m., Beckham - all 7 pounds, 9 ounces of him - was born, a healthy set of lungs crying out his arrival.

"You did only two pushes. That was awesome," Skavlem told Nikki. "But everything went perfectly. You couldn't have asked for better."

Nikki's sister and Eric's mother had been called to the house expecting to baby-sit, so when Eric walked into the living room with Beckham, "they were pretty surprised," Eric said.

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Home births are not common - F-M Ambulance averages perhaps one every two months, Skavlem said.

"I never in a million years thought I'd have (the baby) at home," Nikki said, cradling her son.

F-M Ambulance EMT Lindsay Skavlem holds 2-week-old Beckham Welk on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, while paramedic Mike Sylstad and West Fargo police officers Grant Richardson, rear, and Pete Nielsen look on. The four teamed up to help deliver Beckham on Oct. 20 at the West Fargo home of his parents Nikki and Eric Welk. Helmut Schmidt / The Forum
Eric Welk holds his 2-week-old son, Beckham, as his wife, Nikki, looks on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. The Welks were at the F-M Ambulance office to meet with and thank the paramedics and police officers who helped deliver Beckham on Oct. 20 at the Welk home in West Fargo. Helmut Schmidt / The Forum

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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