LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The family of 4-day-old Mark Robert Witzke III gathered in his parents bedroom Thursday evening after dinner — the same bedroom where the infant was delivered Monday morning by three township police officers.
Jillian Witzke, 31, sat in a rocking chair holding her son as her husband, Mark, her mother, Jody Schumann, and their two children, Joseph, 7, and Arianna, 2, recalled his birth on the couple’s bed just days ago.
“I had just gotten in the shower and Jillian came in and was screaming we got to call 911, the baby is coming. I kept saying we’ll wait for the ambulance, but that didn’t happen,” said Mark Witzke, 34.
Schumann said when she called 911 she was told to have her daughter get off her feet and onto her bed. Just moments later, township police Sgt. David DiElmo and Officers Thomas McAnney and Eric Nelson rushed into the home in the Mystic Island section of the township.
Witzke said she knew that there was no time and that the baby would be born right there in her home, although she was scheduled to be induced this week.
“Everything happened so fast. It was literally minutes, and it was so natural. This third one was definitely the easiest,” she said.
Witzke is a nurse and said at 39 weeks pregnant, she had no contractions the night before and last weekend only felt more tired than usual.
“DiElmo was my focal point. He was so nice and was talking to me and telling me to breathe. I was scared, but he put me at ease,” she said as the baby lay in her arms Thursday evening.
DiElmo delivered another baby on duty in the township in 1994, he said earlier this week.
When 7-pound, 15-ounce Mark Robert Witzke III was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and Schumann said she watched as McAnney removed the cord with ease and placed her grandson on her daughter’s stomach.
“It was just amazing. I was there for the births of my other two grandchildren, but this one was really up close and personal,” Schumann said.
Mark Witzke said his other son and daughter missed their new brother’s birth by just minutes as they had been picked up for school by his father right before their mother went into labor.
Jillian Witzke said there wasn’t much pushing in order for her to give birth to her son Monday morning, but the best thing was that he was born perfectly healthy under the circumstances.
The officers received commendations earlier this week from the Police Department for delivering the baby boy.
“They were awesome. I just want to thank them for saving my son,” Jillian Witzke said Thursday evening as she looked down at her son’s full head of dark, brown hair.
“They were really professional and they made a crazy situation very comfortable,” Mark Witzke said.
Contact Donna Weaver:
Follow @DonnaKWeaver on Twitter