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For new dad, catch of day was unexpected
The principal of a vocational school finds himself with surprising duties: delivering his son.
By JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK
Published July 14, 2007
PLANT CITY - Like any school principal, Cleto Chazares understands the need for calm under pressure.
But Chazares, who heads the South County Career Center in Ruskin, was put to the test early Friday when he found himself delivering his son.
Alexy Giovanni unexpectedly slid into his father's arms at 3:22 a.m. Chazares used a shoelace to tie off the umbilical cord. He checked to see that his wife's placenta was out. He covered the baby with a blanket.
Then he waited for the ambulance.
"I think anybody would have done that for their significant other," said Chazares, 40.
Alexy was not due in this world for another nine days. Grandma had not arrived from Miami. The family thought it had time to prepare.
But when babies want to make their debut, there's little that moms can do. So when his wife, Miryam, started feeling pains, despite her hopes that some rest and a bath might slow things down, there was no stopping Alexy.
Chazares called his wife's doctor, who urged him to get an ambulance. While on the phone with the emergency medical services operator, Chazares heard his wife announce, "I don't think I'm going anywhere."
The operator asked Chazares to check on Miryam. He didn't return right away. He heard from the phone, "Sir? Are you still there?"
"I said, 'I've got the baby,' " Chazares said. " 'I need coaching on what to do next.' "
A few hours later, Chazares took his sons, ages 2 and 4, to the hospital to see their mom and their new brother. Christyan grew bored. Eryk was jealous.
He urged them to go to Busch Gardens with their grandmother. Not without you, they insisted.
So while Miryam and Alexy rested, Chazares and the boys exhausted themselves riding the theme park train and checking out the animals.
"There is no doubt in my mind now that I have done everything there is to do in life," said Chazares, who has been a migrant farmworker, a gang member, a high school track star and a successful educator, among other things. "I am full of joy."
Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.