Baby Can’t Wait To Be Born

By Linda Cicoira — In the world of beer and babies, Zach Harmon, of Keller, will forever be known as the delivery man.

Not only does Zach truck brewskis to your favorite local establishments for his job at a local distribution company, but in his spare time, he helped deliver a beautiful baby boy, his son, while parked on the side of Lankford Highway, in the wee hours of the morning, just a couple of weeks ago.

Braycen Adahy Le’von Harmon came into this world at 6:15 a.m., Oct. 18, in a field next to the Dollar General Store in Painter. The sun had not yet risen and the townsfolk were fast asleep. 

The youngest member of the Harmon clan later weighed in at seven pounds, 10 ounces, and was 20 inches long. Braycen immediately made use of his lungs and was healthy and happy.

Just minutes before that, Fallon Harmon, who’s due date was Oct. 23, told her husband, “We need to go.” She was ready to deliver.

Fallon went to the hospital the previous night but was sent home because she was still only a half-centimeter dilated, the same as she had been for about three weeks. They tried to time Fallon’s contractions but the pains were too irregular to measure. As the night progressed the contractions started getting stronger but were never regular.

The pregnancy was considered high-risk because Fallon’s firstborn, Damori Awan Lee Hopkins, was four months old when he died from multiple congenital defects. He was delivered at 30 weeks and weighed less than three pounds. The normal gestation period is 40 weeks.

When Zach was alerted that they needed to start driving, he threw a couple of bags in the car and grabbed a blanket and a pillow and off they went to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, which is more than 70 miles away from their home.

The couple got as far as Painter, two or three miles away, when her water broke. “And I felt that great pressure,” Fallon said. “Zach asked me what I wanted to do. He pulled the car over and I hopped out. I could feel his head,” she said of Braycen. “I could feel that I was ready to push. So Zach was asking me what he was supposed to do.”

Fallon is an EMT for Northampton County. Zach is a volunteer firefighter in Accomack but when it comes to birthing babies, he hasn’t even had a Lamaze class.

“Zach called 911,” Fallon said. “The dispatcher was trying to give him instructions. He was brave but he was freaked out at the same time. He said he was praying the whole time that the ambulance would show up before the baby came.”

“So the dispatcher instructed him to lay the blanket down and get me on my back,” she said.

“I got on my knees and let gravity do its job. I gave a little push and Zach could see the head.  And I gave another push and the head came out. And one more big push and he was out. Zach caught him.”

“We were on the side of the road, in the southbound turn lane, in front of Dollar General. I was right in the field beside Dollar General,” Fallon remembered. “I can’t even imagine what those people (driving by) thought was happening. There was traffic. Nobody stopped. I’m glad I wasn’t getting murdered. Only about a minute later, I could hear the backup alarm from the ambulance.”

Moments after Braycen arrived, an ambulance was on the scene to rush the Harmons to the Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital in Onancock. “They loaded me into the ambulance and Zach cut the cord” with guidance from the rescuers.

“I’d do it over again,” Zach said. “I was more nervous than scared. I wound up managing it … Couldn’t ask for anything better I can tell you that.”

The couple also has another son, Tayden Ahanu La’Rue Harmon, who was born Feb 3, 2017, at Sentara. Alura Marie Harmon, 4, is Zach’s daughter and Fallon’s stepdaughter and often stays with the couple.

“If I do try again,” Fallon said, “I’m giving it at least four years.”

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