POPE FIELD, North Carolina --
When United States Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Hince joined the military, nobody ever said anything about delivering babies, but he quickly learned that it was a lot like landing a plane.
Hince, director of operations, 43rd Operations Support Squadron, arrived at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina in August, a few weeks before his wife, Jacque, and three children. Married 10 years, the Hinces met on a blind date while both attended Texas A&M University; he majored in political science, she in communications.
Pregnant with the couple’s fourth child, they planned for the delivery to be much like the previous three. Their sons Thomas (8), Chris (5) and Henry (3) all went through what most would consider a normal delivery – contractions, trip to the hospital, and eventually a healthy baby to live happily ever after. Their fourth arrival wasn’t quite as routine.
It was early morning Sept. 25 when Jacque awoke with contractions. Unable to go back to sleep, she went through her normal daily routine – showering, doing her hair, watching a little television and surfing the web. After all, their youngest son took eight hours of labor and her due date was still a day away.
She woke Peter around 4:45 a.m., recognizing that the contractions were becoming more frequent, but still in no rush. She suggested he take his time, grab coffee, make breakfast and then contact their friend who was on-call to watch the children.
The Hinces prepared for what they assumed would be a long, grueling day of waiting, contractions and more waiting, but even Jacque, the former reporter, couldn’t have scripted a story with more theatrics and a better ending.
At 5:50 a.m., while the couple awaited the arrival of their sitter, Jacque’s water broke and she knew immediately that there was no time to make it to the hospital. Their dining room quickly had to suffice for a delivery room and the Air Force pilot was instantly an honorary OBGYN whether he wanted to be or not. Baby #4 had no plans of waiting.
When Peter called 911, the Moore County dispatcher began the normal line of questioning, trying to get a feel for the situation in order to send the most appropriate first responders. Even something that simple would not work – he needed directions and he needed them quickly.
Having recently moved to the area, he scoured boxes for clean towels and string, per the dispatcher’s coaching. Sixteen minutes, joyous screams, a brief visit from the inquisitive 8-year-old and three contractions later, the couple was overjoyed by the arrival of Elizabeth Anne-Marie, who weighed in at 8 pounds, 14 ounces and 19 inches long.
The medics and the sitter both arrived shortly after the birth and the couple headed to the hospital for precautionary reasons, but not before Baby Elizabeth met her older brothers and their dog Sidney.
Mom is doing well. North Carolina’s newest volunteer OBGYN is thankful everything went smoothly…and quickly. “My uncle is an OBGYN and I told him there was nothing to it,” Hince joked. “It’s just like landing a plane. If everything goes as expected, then it’s easy. Thankfully Jacque did all the work. She was awesome.”
The three boys are excited about the new addition to the family, although the oldest had to learn a little more than your normal eight-year-old given the situation he walked in on.
As for Elizabeth, she’s made it obvious that she isn’t going to be a typical child…and the Hinces couldn’t be prouder.