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Jeff and Brianne Walters delivered Lilyana Grace Walters in their Summerfield home a 1:09 a.m., Aug. 9, 2010.
East County Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010 11 years ago

TOP STORY, AUG.: Birthday Surprise

by: Michael Eng Executive Editor

Throughout the holiday week, will be counting down the top 12 stories of 2010 (one from each month) from our Longboat, East County and Sarasota Observers. Check back each day for a reprinting — and any relevant updates — of the biggest news items of the year.


LAKEWOOD RANCH — Of all the scenarios Brianne Walters created in her mind for the birth of her daughter, this one wasn’t among them.

Just an hour earlier, Walters and her husband, Jeff, were at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. Brianne’s contractions had begun around 7 p.m., Aug. 8, and the couple was ready for a late-night birth. However, nurses confirmed Brianne was only two centimeters dilated and gave the Walters the option of going home until morning.

Home — in Summerfield — was only four minutes away. And a comfortable night’s rest sounded good.

“We thought, ‘We might as well go home,’” Brianne said. “Either way, I was going to be in pain.”

But almost immediately after arriving home, Brianne’s contractions got worse. She ran a bath to help relax. After all, her last pregnancy — for 2-year-old son Jeffrey III, involved 24 hours of labor.

“We thought there was no reason to rush,” she said. “I thought I’d just stick through it and try to sleep until morning.”

But the pain continued to get worse — so much that Brianne moved to the living room. But that didn’t help. She made her way back to Jeff, who was sleeping in the bedroom.

“I think I’m dying!” she screamed. “And I felt her coming out.”

Jeff bounced out of bed, and reacting almost completely on instinct, lay his wife down.

“We’re going to have the baby right here,” he told Brianne.

He took one cell phone and dialed Brianne’s mother, Country Club of Lakewood Ranch resident Charlene Spranger, a longtime registered nurse and lactation consultant. He took another and called 911.

In Spranger’s first conversation with Jeff, she could hear her daughter screaming. In her second, she could hear Jeff yelling, “Push!”

And in the third, she heard her new granddaughter crying.

Lilyana Grace Walters was born at 1:09 a.m., Aug. 8, 2010, into her father’s arms. Jeff wrapped her in towels and, at the advice of the 911 operator, took a shoelace off one of his boots and tied the umbilical cord.

Then he handed her to Brianne.

“She’s perfect,” he told her. “She’s perfect.”

Spranger and her husband, Bruce, arrived within minutes — as did two ambulances and a fire truck.

“We got up immediately and got dressed,” Spranger said. “But by the time we got there, she was already born.”

Emergency crews whisked the family back to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. Brianne had not delivered the placenta, and doctors needed to evaluate Lilyana.

“It is common to have some trauma (in deliveries such as this) ,” Jeff said. “They also monitored her glucose.”

But by Monday afternoon, all three were resting comfortable in the Women’s Center — albeit with heads still reeling from the night’s events. Throughout the day, amazed loved ones filtered in to hear the Walters’ tale. Jeff shrugged off family members’ and friends’ suggestions that he become a doctor.

“I observed a lot during the last birth,” he said. “So, I just told her to push, and after three or four pushes, she came out.

“Her eyes were wide open, but she wasn’t crying at first,” Jeff said. “I grabbed her and picked her up upside-down — that’s what they did in the hospital. Then, she started crying.”

The entire process from the moment Brianne woke up Jeff was less than five minutes, the couple said.

“If we had tried to get to the hospital, I would have had her in the car,” Brianne said.

Lilyana shares her birthday with her uncle, Charlene’s son Tim, who also was born Aug. 8.

Brianne praised her husband’s heroic effort.

“Jeff was just so great,” she said. “He was just awesome.”

Contact Michael Eng at [email protected].


Lilyana Grace Walters
Birth date and time

: 1:09 a.m., Aug. 9

Birth weight and length

: 6 pounds, 15 ounces; 20-and-one-half inches

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