For those of us who are dads, you take for granted that you will be there for their births. Nancy Naeve Brown met a pilot who missed out on that experience twice, but finally saw his third child come in to the world Tuesday night.
This is a joyous time for the Grotjohn family. They are new to Sioux Falls. Anne just gave birth to her third child, a brand new baby boy, and Jerry is no longer new to the O.R.
Jerry says, "It's the first boy. First labor in a hospital for her and the first time I've been able to be there for her. So we've had a lot of firsts."
Jerry was a commercial pilot based in Vancouver, Washington and was in the air flying when his first two kids Mara and Alli were born.
Jerry says, "The first one was a week early. The second one was 4 weeks early. The 2nd one we had a great plan. I was going to be off 2 weeks before the due date.
Anne says, "Yeah, we had a great plan. He was going to be home 2 weeks early, but I was sleeping that night and got up and knew my water was breaking and I couldn't get a hold of him because he was still in the air."
Alli (now 3 yrs. old) ended up being born in the ambulance in route to the Vancouver hospital. But finally third time was a charm. Jerry now flies
F-16's with the South Dakota Air National Guard and when Smith Ryan Grotjohn decided he was ready to be born 2 1./2 weeks early, off they went to Avera McKennan; together!
Jerry says, "It was terrific. It was incredible. It was exciting. It wasn't emotional the way I thought it was going to be, but it was an exciting proud moment."
Anne tears up and says, "Just to have your best friend in the room felt more comfortable."
Sioux Falls has been good to the Grotjohns so far. Dad has a new found pride after watching the birth of his son and a new beginning for a family who is blessed to have 3 healthy beautiful children.
Baby Smith was born Tuesday night at 7:01 weighing 6 pounds 12 ounces 19 inches long. Jerry and Anne have only been in Sioux Falls for 6 months, but say they love it. Oldest daughter Mara (5 years old) was in school at the time we shot this story so that's why you didn't see her. Welcome to Sioux Falls and South Dakota Grotjohns! We are happy to have you.