Almost didn't make it!

About 2 AM one night in November, I got a call from Ana Maria, small build women who was expecting her third child. Ana Maria had her first 2 children in hospitals, so this would be her first home birth. It had been raining for almost a week when I received the call from Ana Maria. I was not looking forward to driving to her house in this lousy weather, but I knew that I had to go. It was raining when I left. Ana Maria lived in a hilly community, and her home was in the upper part. As I drove towards Ana Maria's house, I was concern if I would be able to drive all the way to her place. About 2 hours later, as I turned off the main hiway onto the dirt streets of Ana Maria's community, it had stopped raining, but the dirt roads were in terrible shape. Some places had 1-2 foot deep ruts cut into the dirt roads by the fast running water from the upper streets. It took some fancy driving to avoid these big ruts. If my car had slipped into one, that would have been the end of my ride. As I got within about 3 blocks of Ana Maria's house, the road got steeper. Suddenly, my car sunk in the deep mud and would not go any further. Just then, my cell phone rang. It was Ana Maria's husband saying in a panicked voice "Please hurry, she says the baby is coming!" "I am stuck in the mud about 3 blocks below your house!" I told him. "Get out of your car and start walking! I will meet you half way" he said. "OK" I said. I hung up my phone, gathered my things and got out of my car. (Left photo) The mud was very deep, and after my first step, I could not see my shoes. I took the photos above later after tending to Ana Maria's birth. I had to walk very carefully to not slip or loose my shoes in the thick, gooey mud. From up above, I could see someone walking towards me with a flashlight. After walking for several minutes and almost falling a number of times, I finally met Ana Maria's husband and another man. We slogged through the mud as fast as possible, but that was not very fast. Ana Maria's husband was very nervous and he said again that Ana Maria had said that it felt like her baby was coming. Finally we reached the house. I opened the door and started to remove my almost invisible shoes. Then there came a deep, animalistic moan from the bedroom. I kicked off my shoes without looking to see where they would land and ran with my birth bag in hand into Ana Maria's bedroom. The photo below is the sight that greeted me!

As I walked through Ana Maria's bedroom doorway, this is the sight that I saw. Wide eyed and somewhat panicked because her husband had left her alone when he went to get me, Ana Maria was laying on her birth prepared bed, with her legs wide open and the baby's head was in the fullest crown that I have ever seen without coming out! We had talked on a previous prenatal visit about what type of photos that they wanted and they had told me that they wanted birth photos. I asked Ana Maria again if she still wanted birth photos. "Yes" she said, so I hurriedly got out my camera and took this photo. Just then Ana Maria got another contraction, so I put my camera down and hurriedly put gloves on. Ana Maria in one push birthed her third child into my hands. I then realized that her husband or his friend were outside somewhere and not around to help, so I could not take any further photos. I put Ana Maria's newborn on her stomach and after waiting for the pulse to stop in the cord, I clamped and cut the cord.

A bit later, Ana Maria poses with her newborn 3.60 Kg. (7 Lb. 15 oz.) son born at 4:07 AM. I asked Ana Maria how that she managed to not birth her baby before my arrival. Ana Maria told me that she knew that I was on the way, so she was trying with all her might to not push until I arrived. Somehow she managed. I see Ana Maria from time to time and we still laugh about this night when she had her first home birth. Ana Maria says that if she ever decides to have another one, she will call me MUCH earlier next time.

Jerry

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