Being born in an elevator on one of the snowiest days of 2012 brought no ill effects to Blake Michael Thacker of Graham.
Blake, now 11 months old, is thriving, his mom, Katie Thacker, said during a recent interview.
“Thankfully, he’s right on track,” she said.
Well, there is one lingering side effect, Katie admitted after a moment’s reflection.
“He still can’t kick the nicknames from the press,” she said. “My dad, who started calling him Otis, still calls him that. He is still referred to as Blake the snowflake. Or when we go places or are introduced, he is ‘the elevator baby’ and I am ‘that girl who had the baby in the elevator.’”
As burdens go, being nicknamed after a famous elevator company is not so bad.
“It’s really been great,” Katie said.
Blake came into the world on Jan. 18 in an elevator stuck just short of the 14th floor at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma.
Katie and her husband, Luke Thacker, had rushed into town through a driving snowstorm with Katie in some serious labor. Her contractions were about a minute apart when they finally made it to the hospital, and a decision was made to get her up to the birthing center on the 14th floor immediately.
Luke, Katie, Katie’s mom and sister and three nurses boarded a service elevator and headed up. Unexpectedly, the elevator stopped at the 12th floor and the doors opened. Luke, Katie’s mom and sister and one of the nurses got off, but the doors closed again with Katie and the two other nurses still inside.
The elevator started up again but didn’t get far, stopping short of the birthing center.
Building maintenance was called. Firefighters were called. Elevator experts were called. No go.
Blake, however, was a go, and, with the help of the nurses still on board, was delivered without complications. Luke even got to cut the cord when elevator technicians managed to get the doors opened.
His birth was, according to St. Joseph spokesman Gale Robinette, the one and only elevator delivery of 2012 and possibly ever at the Tacoma hospital.
“That’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Robinette said. “We hope so, anyway.”
Life since then has been mostly blissful, said Katie, who recently started a Body by Vi business.
Blake is already walking, has seven teeth and spends a lot of time laughing and trying to emulate his big brother, Noah, who’s 21/2.
He loves dogs and playing peek-a-boo and laughs “like a sheep” when he’s happy, Katie said.
“He’s a great addition to the family,” she said.
All goodness and light. A wonderful story, really.
But the question had to be asked: Have you been on an elevator since that fateful day, Katie?
“Maybe twice,” she said. “I’ve never really liked elevators. Now, I cannot stomach going on them. Elevators are a very rare scene in our life.”