Bryson City Seasons — Another New Year’s Catch

This is from the twenty-fourth chapter from my best-selling book, Bryson City Seasons, which is the sequel to Bryson City TalesI hope that you’ll enjoy going back to Bryson City with me each week and that if you do, you’ll be sure to invite your friends and family to join us.


By early afternoon, I was pulling into the driveway.

Barb quickly came out of the house. “Walt, get over to labor and delivery! They need you right now!”

“Okay. Can you get the fish out of the cooler and put them in the refrigerator?”

I ran down the driveway, across the road, and into the side entrance of the hospital. It seemed quiet as I quickly walked toward our two-bed labor area. I could hear the moaning as I approached. Peggy stepped out into the hall as I walked up.

“Oh good, glad you’re here, Dr. Larimore. Cherokee Hospital sent this lady over to us. She’s visiting family in the area and went into labor. This is her third baby. No prenatal problems, and her labor’s been quick. They usually send their babies over to Sylva, but one of the new docs at Cherokee Hospital sent her here since we’re closer. She’s completely dilated. We’ll be having a baby soon.” “Where’s Rick? He’s on call, isn’t he?”
“Oh yes. He’s over in OR with Mitch. Said he could break away if needed, but asked if we’d call you when you came in to back him up.”

Now I understood. “Let me go change.”

I walked to the OR to change into scrubs and then stuck my head in the room. Rick and Mitch were deep into the abdomen of a very obese patient. Kim, the anesthetist, was sitting at the patient’s head, and she waved to me.

“Why aren’t you guys out playing golf?” I asked.

Mitch looked up. “Why pay money to hit a golf ball and then spend a morning trying to find it when someone will pay you to find a golf ball in them?”

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

Rick turned to me. “Look here. This woman swallowed a golf ball, and Mitch found it.” At that moment Rick reached into the abdomen and pulled out a golf ball–sized gallstone. “Just found this in her gallbladder.”

“And it’s not the only one,” added Mitch.

“How many?”

Mitch, without pausing, spelled “F-O-R-E!”

He and Rick laughed. Kim’s eyes were smiling as she shook her head.

“Rick, while you all are having fun, I’m going to go babysit your OB patient.”

“Sounds good, Walt. Thanks!”

I turned to leave when Mitch chimed in, “Walt, this’ll be our first delivery here in the hospital this year. Hope everything comes out okay.”

I smiled.

When Rick entered the delivery room, the patient was prepped and draped, and I was scrubbed and coaching, “Just one more push. Slow and easy. You’re doing fine.”

Peggy and the woman’s husband were helping her sit up as she pushed. Rick walked over to Peggy’s side. I looked at him. “Want to switch places?” I asked.

“Nope. Looks like you’re doing fine. Mind if I observe?”

“James and Patty,” I said to our laboring guests, “this is my partner, Dr. Pyeritz. Mind if he sits in for this little one’s arrival?”

They nodded their consent. Another contraction began as Peggy and James helped Patty sit up and begin her final push. I gently applied pressure to support Patty’s perineum. “Gentle, Patty, gentle. Here comes your precious one.”

The head slowly slid over the perineum. As the nose exited, I picked up a suction bulb to clean out the nostrils and the mouth. The baby reacted instinctively.

“Patty,” I softly instructed, “one more push and you’ll be able to hug your baby.”

Patty began her push. I gently applied pressure to the head as I worked a shoulder past the labia. “We’re almost there. Gently keep pushing. Gentle.”

As she pushed, I instinctively positioned my left hand around the back of the baby’s neck as the anterior shoulder delivery was quickly followed by the posterior shoulder, and then the entire baby quickly flipped out of her mom and onto my left forearm.

As I suctioned out the baby’s nose and mouth, the father smiled and the mother beamed. I looked down at the little one in my arms, and there she was—sleek, shiny, and slippery—a real beauty.

Rick and I stared at the beautiful baby. Peggy spoke next. “Looky there, Doc. The first baby of the New Year in Swain County!”

After the delivery, Peggy turned the lights down, and we let the mom and dad spend some time bonding with their new family member. We talked softly—about their family and their dreams. During the time after each delivery, families typically open up in ways they rarely do otherwise—granting those attending their birth a special glimpse into their souls.

After some bonding time, Rick, James, and I walked behind Peggy, who was carrying the baby to our small newborn nursery. We watched her measure, weigh, and clean our “catch.”

While we were watching, Mitch came down to look her over. He didn’t say a word. He just bent down and slowly lifted her, carefully looking her over. Then, while holding her up, he smiled— and then laughed, and continued to laugh. We joined him.

Then Mitch placed the little one back in the crib and turned to us. I thought for sure I saw his eyes getting misty. He nodded at us—then turned and left.

“I think he’s happy for us,” Rick commented.

“He’s happy for Bryson City,” Peggy whispered.

On this special New Year’s Day in Bryson City, two beautiful creations were delivered from their watery place of conception. Both were twenty-one inches long, and both weighed about eight pounds. One gave great joy to me at the end of her life—the other gave great joy to me and others at the beginning of hers.

I have pictures of both, which I still pull out from time to time. I still smile as I remember.


  1. The Murder (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  2. The Arrival (Part 1)(Part 2)
  3. The Hemlock Inn (Part 1)(Part 2)
  4. The Grand Tour (Part 1)(Part 2)
  5. The Interview (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  6. Settling In (Part 1)(Part 2)
  7. First-Day Jitters (Part 1)(Part 2)
  8. Emergency (Part 1)(Part 2)
  9. The Delivery (Part 1)(Part 2)
  10. The “Expert” (Part 1)(Part 2)
  11. The Trial (Part 1)(Part 2)
  12. Shiitake Sam (Part 1)(Part 2)
  13. Wet Behind the Ears (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  14. Lessons in Daily Practice (Part 1) — Anal Angina(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4)
  15. White Lies
  16. The Epiphany (Part 1)(Part 2)
  17. Becoming Part of the Team (Part 1)(Part 2)
  18. Monuments (Part 1)(Part 2)
  19. My First Home Victory (Part 1)(Part 2)
  20. Fisher of Men (Part 1)(Part 2)
  21. Fly-Fishing (Part 1); (Part 2)
  22. Something Fishy (Part 1)(Part 2)
  23. A Good Day at the Office
  24. An Evening to Remember
  25. Another New Doc Comes to Town
  26. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Part 1)(Part 2)
  27. A Surprising Gift
  28. The New Year (Part 1)(Part 2)
  29. The Home Birth (Part1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  30. The Showdown (Part1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  31. The Initiation (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  32. Home at Last (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2017. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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