- Associated Press - Monday, January 20, 2014

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (AP) - If Malikai Newton’s entrance into the world earlier this month is any indication of things to come, you might just want to stand back and give the boy some room.

Baby Malikai came about two weeks early during the peak of an ice storm that paralyzed the Twin Lakes Area. He was born at the Flippin home of Devin Hulen, 19, and Ruben Newton, 25, before paramedics arrived around 7:55 a.m. Jan. 9.

Two ambulances were dispatched to the residence. One slid off the roadway.

Ruben had slid to work successfully at the Ark-Plas plant in Flippin earlier in the day. Her parents - Scott and Darla Hulen - also were captives of the ice.

Less than 30 hours after his birth, Malikai was doing well Friday afternoon in the Baxter Regional Medical Center Baby Center.

“I woke up with contractions around 6 in the morning Thursday. I thought it was just more Braxton Hicks contractions. I’d had them before and they went away,” Hulen said. She telephoned the baby’s father and the grandparents to let them know about the contractions, which seemed more intense this time.

Her mother coached her to lay down and try to stay calm.

Devin knew the Braxton Hicks contractions - named for the doctor in the 19th Century who documented the phenomenon common in early pregnancy - had eased earlier in her pregnancy after a warm shower.

“I got into the shower and turned the warm water on my back,” Devin said. “I got out and they were worse. I thought I had to go to the bathroom, but I didn’t.

“He was there. He was crowning. That’s when I had to start pushing.”

She recalls making a series of telephone calls that included Ruben and the grandparents to let them know the baby was on the way, with or without assistance from emergency medical personnel. She called 911 and was instructed by a dispatcher to try not to push until paramedics arrived.

“I finally had to tell the dispatcher, ‘You don’t understand. I’ve got to push. I can’t talk to you right now,’ ” the mother said.

Here’s Malikai!

“The pain was excruciating. I was terrified. I remember thinking what I would do if he wasn’t breathing,” Hulen told The Baxter Bulletin (.

Malakai delivered and cried just as first responders entered the house.

“The paramedics and first responders were wonderful. I was so relieved when I heard him cry,” she said. “I knew he was going to breathe.”

Hulen said a sensation washed through her body and created an impression that she says words cannot describe.

“It’s so far the greatest experience of my life. I don’t have words to describe the feeling of finally holding him and hearing him cry,” she said.

The experience was an eye-opener in other ways.

Hulen said her father is a first responder with the Flippin Fire Department and an emergency medical technician. She had access during her school years to the books her father studied to earn the EMT certification. She read the books, too.

“I learned a lot of what was happening to me from reading those books,” she said.

A career in emergency medicine may be in the offing, she says.

___

Information from: The Baxter Bulletin, http://www.baxterbulletin.com

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