By Shanna O’Mara
Director of Campus Life Richard Kopp and his wife, Louisa, are expecting a third child. And he or she is already famous.
The couple announced their pregnancy on Oct. 28 when they posted a video on YouTube titled “Crossing the Finish Line” featuring their 3-year-old son, Owen, and 15-month-old daughter, Carmendy, racing to the finish line with an empty baby carriage in tow.
“We decided to do the video because we know this will be our last pregnancy and wanted to do something more than a photo to announce that we’re expecting one final time,” Kopp said. “We also realized that our third child would be a tiebreaker since we have one boy and one girl. We wanted to do something with the tiebreaker concept and the idea grew into a story that could only be told in a video.
“We first showed my family on Oct. 10 when visiting them on a trip to my hometown in western Pennsylvania. Then on Oct. 28, when we felt it was safe to share the news with our extended friends and family, we did so by posting the announcement on my wife’s blog and the video on YouTube.”
Various well-known sources have since posted the video, including the Huffington Post, Good Morning America, ABC News, EllenTube and NJ.com. The video even crossed international borders as it was posted on a popular Irish maternity website, Mummy Pages.
The video, which was filmed and edited by Sam Cowan, a student at Drexel University where Kopp worked from 2007-2014, has racked up over 23,000 views on YouTube.
Kopp and his wife were stunned by the response their announcement received. However, this was merely the aftershock of the even bigger surprise of expecting a third child.
“Of course, we were completely shocked by the reaction,” he said. “But not quite as shocked as the news of baby No. 3 — that was truly a huge surprise.”
The video’s popularity skyrocketed because of the young talent that truly brought the film to life.
“Our children had a blast with the film shoot,” Kopp said. “They enjoyed playing around on the local high school track in Woodbury, New Jersey. And they particularly enjoyed the loads of candy we bribed them with to perform well for the camera.”
Although the video depicts a battle between genders, Kopp said that he and his wife do not have a preference either way.
“Our son thinks that he is going to have another sister — ‘one that matches Carmendy,’” he said. “As for mom and dad, we have no inclination one way or another.”
Because Louisa has had trouble in the past with traditional deliveries, the couple plans to keep safety a priority as they prepare for their next child.
“Our daughter arrived in such grand fashion on her own terms — a hilarious home delivery in the middle of the night,” Kopp said.
In August 2014, Louisa began to experience intense contractions. She was near her due date, and the couple realized that the baby was coming soon, so soon that they had no time to get to a hospital.
“The realization that I was going to give birth in my kitchen only dawned on me when Richard told me to push,” Louisa later wrote on her blog. “I felt a rush of panic and fear.”
Without any medical tools or training, Kopp successfully delivered his daughter at 4:11 a.m. He cut the umbilical cord with butcher shears and cleaned the baby in the sink. Emergency medical technicians arrived 15 minutes later to take Louisa and her daughter to the hospital, both in stable condition.
Now that baby No. 3 is on the way, the couple hopes for a safe delivery as they approach the April 3 due date.
“We are just hoping for a healthy new baby and safe delivery,” Kopp said.