James Herrmann wrapped his hands around his fidgety nearly 1-year-old son Thursday and said he wished for a quiet, uneventful Father’s Day.
Not like last year.
June 17, 2012, started out relatively normal with his pregnant wife, Charline Herrmann, and young daughter heading to church and then brunch at her parents’ Sheffield Lake home. But as Charline grew tired and decided to nap before heading home to Avon Lake, things turned eventful.
More than four weeks from her due date, Charline’s water broke. The clock read 1:45 p.m.
“I called Jim for him to come get me and take me to the hospital because I didn’t want to take any chances,” she said.
The drive to EMH Elyria Medical Center was made a little longer by construction, but the couple arrived at the hospital by 2:55 p.m. and, soon after, so did Cade Joseph James Herrmann. He made his debut in the parking lot of the hospital with dad playing the role of midwife or catcher — depending how you look at it.
His middle name pays homage to the dad who literally brought him into the world.
“Jim caught him, held him for a second and handed him to me,” Charline said. “We thought we would have more time because MacKenna was on her due date. It took an hour and a half of pushing to get her out.”
Not only being there for the birth of his first son but also being the one to actually perform the delivery has definitely changed Herrmann’s thoughts on fatherhood.
MacKenna, now 6, was an easy baby. She barely cried and hardly got sick.
“But I really learned you have to be ready for anything with Cade,” James said. “He came out on his terms and has always done things on his terms.”
Where Cade’s birth taught his parents about spontaneity, the first 17 days of his life taught them about patience.
Within hours of being born, Cade began having trouble breathing and was placed in the special care unit under an oxygen hood. The next day his condition worsened, a tube was placed down his throat to help him breathe, and he was transferred to Rainbow Babies and Children Hospital in Cleveland.
There, Cade was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and placed on a machine to take over functions of his lungs.
“It was very serious. We knew he could die,” Charline said.
Nearly a year later as his mother recounted his birth story, Cade was taking over the family home like a typical inquisitive 1-year-old. He darted on little legs from table to couch and back again. He was up in Dad’s arms one minute and then down on the floor the next.
“It definitely scared us. I didn’t expect to deliver him one day and for him to be in Rainbow on a bypass machine the next,” Charline said.
The uneasiness lasted for more than a week before his lungs were strong enough to work on their own. He came home July 5 — 17 days after his delivery in the front seat of his parents’ Ford Taurus.
In the year since, James said Cade has continued to amaze and surprise him.
Aside from a slight milk allergy and acid reflux, he is healthy. He is already walking and big for his age — in the 90th percentile in both height and weight.
“You can’t stop him from doing anything,” he said. “He’s our little daredevil.”
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.