There are two interesting things about the birth of our baby girl last Sunday morning.1

When labor started early Saturday evening, we were up at the cabin, three and a half hours from home. Jessica started having laborish something-or-others every now and again, the kind of thing that often (we’ve been told) doesn’t really lead to anything. But we decided to come home anyway; if it was nothing, we would be home in time to get a normal sleep; if it was not nothing, well, we would actually be near our birth center, which would represent an enormous boon, as they say.

We left the cabin at 5:30, called the midwife on the way, and contractions and vomiting steadily increased in frequency as we drove. They were about seven minutes apart, and we were still about an hour from home, when we got a flat tire.

I’ve never had a flat tire before in my life. I get my first one when my wife is in labor. That’s the first interesting thing.

After swapping out the tire, we were on our way again, and we made it home without further complications. Jessica had a bath, was able to keep a bit of food down, and then got in bed. Contractions promptly slowed to the point where, for a couple of hours, she was even able to catch a bit of sleep in between them.

Then, at 2:00 AM, she started having much, much stronger contractions. Shortly after 3:00 AM I called the midwife back again, and she said it was time to come in to the birth center. It took us fifteen minutes to get Jessica downstairs, into the car, and for me to get the frozen berries, phone chargers and clothing all ready to go. At 3:20 we were on the road, Jessica kneeling on the rear passenger seat, facing the back of the car.

Just five minutes away from the birth center, Jessica finished a contraction and informed me in a tone of mild surprise that the baby’s head had emerged. I reached around back with my right arm, while driving, and sure enough, through Jessica’s robe I felt a little head, hanging down and waiting patiently.

One minute later, the baby slid out onto the seat of the car and made a single little squawk up at us. It was 3:35 AM. We were doing 65 miles per hour.

Our occupations and positions kept us from holding hands, but I said, “Oh, Jess,” and she said she was doing fine and sounded relieved. And that was the second interesting thing.

  1. Everyone was OK and is doing great. Thank you for asking. 

Joel – Joe and I were first in shock while reading the first part of the story…then our jaws dropped…then we laughed and laughed picturing your dear wife calmly telling you the baby ‘dropped’ into the world with a squawk! You guys are a hoot! Bless that dear wifey of yours and her amazing attitude and we are thankful for your little girl arriving safe and sound!

Joe & Joyce Rankin ·

Absolutely awesome. Thrilled for you all. Not sure that statement constitutes well-formed or relevant, but I had to say it.

Rundy ·