NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Titans safety Kevin Byard and his wife didn’t plan on having their baby at home, though now he has a story he’ll be able to tell his son forever.
The two-time defensive caption with the most interceptions in the NFL over the past three seasons wound up delivering his son, Kevin Leon Byard IV, at home last month when his wife’s contractions prevented them from getting to the hospital.
“One of those deals where we just couldn’t make it to the hospital,” Byard told reporters Wednesday, adding he and his wife weren’t planning “on having the baby at the house.”
Byard and his wife, Clarke, expected their son to arrive on Aug. 24. She started having contractions on Aug. 23. Once they eased up, Byard laid down for a nap. His wife woke him up around 10:30 p.m. when the contractions became stronger.
“I kind of got up, started, you know not really panicked but scrambling to get some clothes on, helping her try to get dressed,” Byard said.
The safety was home with his mother-in-law and 1-year-old daughter. He went downstairs and started getting the car ready for the trip to the hospital. Byard also called their doula with a plan of meeting at the hospital. When he went back upstairs, his wife was on her hands and knees on the floor with contractions worse.
Byard called the doula back and put her on speakerphone. Byard’s wife thought the baby was about to come. The doula advised Byard to try to help his wife into the bathtub. As he helped his wife to her feet, he checked her and saw his son’s head.
They never made it to the bathtub.
“When the head started to come out, his face was pointed upward so I could see his face was real purple,” Byard said. “So I was kind of nervous about that. … The doula told me to support his head, checked around his neck, check for the umbilical cord to be wrapped around his neck. And it wasn’t thank God.”
Within 15 minutes, the rest of his son followed.
“I kind of caught him, caught him in my arms,” said Byard, who has 17 interceptions since the start of the 2017 season. “He waited about five seconds. He coughed about twice two or three times, start crying and lay my wife down on her back.”
The Byards waited for the ambulance and doula to arrive, cut the umbilical cord and then headed to the hospital. Byard estimated the process took maybe 30 minutes. Now the Byards have back-to-back birthdays to celebrate with their daughter born on Aug. 22 and a memory for a lifetime.
“That was probably the most memorable thing me and my wife has ever been through in our relationship, other than obviously getting married,” Byard said. “But yeah I mean that’s the story I’m going to be able to tell my son for the rest our days.”
NOTES: WR Corey Davis (hamstring) and S Kenny Vaccaro (illness) did not practice Wednesday. OLB Jadeveon Clowney (hip) and OLB Vic Beasley (knee) were limited. RB Darrynton Evans (hamstring) and OLB Derick Roberson (knee) practiced fully. … The Titans signed WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine from the practice squad.
Follow Teresa M. Walker at https://twitter.com/TeresaMWalker
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL