Canadian couple heading to Bass Pro Shops,


Mar 11, 2001
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Dec. 15, 2004

Canadian couple deliver baby in Missouri


Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A Canadian couple came to the Ozarks to shop at Bass Pro Shops, but they got a 6-pound, 3-ounce baby girl instead of hunting and fishing equipment.

When Roger and Theresa Giesbrecht arrived in Springfield more than six weeks ago, they believed they had plenty of time to see the popular sporting goods retailer's headquarters, visit with relatives and get back home to Manitoba before her Jan. 9 due date.

They were on their way to the Springfield store on Nov. 1 when Theresa Giesbrecht's water broke. It was too soon for her to deliver, so she spent the next month and a half in bed at St. John's Hospital, a few blocks from the store.

"I've been to Bass Pro many times now, but she has not," Roger Giesbrecht said Wednesday as he rested his hand on his wife's shoulder.

Dr. Scott Magill delivered their daughter, Tessa, on Tuesday without complication.

"They are without a doubt the sweetest couple," Magill said. "They've never complained once. They have been good ambassadors for Canada"

Theresa Giesbrecht smiled as she cradled her daughter in her arms Wednesday.

"We've been very lucky," she said.

Theresa Giesbrecht, 20, spent much the time with her feet elevated above her head to relieve the pressure that could have caused her to go into labor. Roger Giesbrecht, 24, slept in a recliner at her side.

Magill consulted with her doctor in Canada about the possibility of getting them home. It was her first pregnancy, and she wanted her baby born in Canada.

Flying was out of the question. Neither doctor wanted to risk the long drive. So they waited until she reached 36 weeks and induced labor.

Tessa is considered an American citizen, confirmed a Springfield spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"She will have dual citizenship," Theresa Giesbrecht said.

Magill contacted Bass Pro Shops and shared details of the couple's plight.

"It's a true Christmas story," said Larry Whiteley, spokesman for the retailer. "It's the story of a young couple who came from afar and ended up giving birth."

Bass Pro Shops employees planned to arrange housing for the family after Theresa Giesbrecht is released Friday from the hospital.

Magill believes she and the baby should be able to fly home after their checkup on Monday. Bass Pro plans to pay their airfare home.

Several others, including the city officials and the convention and visitors bureau, also planned to help ensure the three have a comfortable stay.

As for Theresa Giesbrecht, she will receive a shopping spree at Bass Pro before leaving the United States, the retailer said.

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