Capt. Kelvin Riddle, a tactical officer at the U.S. Military Academy, knew his wife would eventually give birth to their fourth child, Hudsyn Claire Riddle. However, he did not foresee how that unique birth would transpire, for Lindsey Riddle would give birth under painstaking circumstances that would speak to the virtue and unyielding strength of motherhood.
The morning began like any other day on June 17. Kelvin was ready to hear the buzz of his alarm at four in the morning to prepare for Cadet Field Training.
“I thought I would stay in the field overnight with my cadets, but my wife woke me up at 3:45 a.m. and said, ‘hey, it’s time,’ˮ Kelvin said.
He got his kids ready and took them to his friendʼs house in Stony Lonesome, which was seven minutes away from his house.
“Before I could get passed the stadium from my house, my wife called me and said, ‘hey, I can feel the baby’s head,’ˮ he explained. “I started freaking out a bit and I sped up a little bit more to get the kids up the hill and about three to four minutes later, she called me and said, ‘hey, I'm holding the baby.’ I thought she was joking.ˮ
He quickly dropped his kids off at his friendʼs house and moved with frantic urgency back to his car and called 911. The firefighters and military police on base immediately responded. As soon as he got down the hill from Stony and back to his house, the firefighters were outside his door preparing to enter.
“My wife opened the door and she was literally standing there with the baby in her arms,ˮ Kelvin said. “Me, the firefighters and MP’s were shocked and wondering what just happened. And so, we immediately got her seated. Once we got her seated, the firefighter clamped the umbilical cord then I cut the umbilical cord.ˮ
The firefighters asked Lindsey a series of questions to gauge her health. Soon after, the ambulance came to pick her up and transport her from Keller Hospital to Montefiore St. Lukeʼs Cornwall Hospital for follow-up care.
For Lindsey, the experience was beautiful yet surreal. Before the birth, Lindsey simply believed she had to use the restroom before she went to the hospital. As she exited the restroom and made her way into the kitchen, she felt the urge to push.
She listened to her body and grabbed the bar stool in her kitchen. She gave it one good push to alleviate the pain but didn’t believe she was having the baby yet.
“She was giving a push to re-adjust the baby,ˮ Kelvin said. “With that one push, the baby crowned. Another push came right behind it and she pushed the baby further out. Her instincts kicked in. She didnʼt want the baby to hit the floor because she was standing.ˮ
She reached under and grabbed the babyʼs head as she came out smoothly. Then, she grabbed the baby carefully and flipped her upwards to unwrap the umbilical cord around her neck.
“Thank god there was no health complications. Everything was completely fine, but it was definitely an interesting birth. Our two dogs got to witness the whole thing and they canʼt tell me about it,ˮ Kelvin said. “She was very pleased about the professionalism the firefighters and MP’s maintained given the extent of the emergency. I’m sure this doesn’t happen often at West Point.ˮ
Hudsyn, now a few weeks old, is said to be the last child the Riddles have and they are thrilled to welcome their miracle child to West Point.