Childbirth is a tough but natural process. For Sarah Bell, it was particularly interesting.
Bell’s fiance, Matthew Lynn, explains that she began experiencing contractions about 3 a.m. Saturday. They went to the Taylor County Hospital, but were sent home, because nurses said the pains were “mild.” When they returned home about 8 a.m., she had him run water for her to take a bath, hoping it would help. It didn’t, and instead they both tried to sleep.
“Next thing you know, she’s squalling bloody murder,” Lynn said, who explains he had fallen asleep by this time. He went to check on her, to find her standing in the bathtub, in the midst of giving birth.
Apparently, when Bell had gotten up to use the bathroom, her water broke. She did the best thing she could think of, which was to climb into the tub, where water was still standing.
“The nurses here (Ephraim McDowell) said that was probably the smartest thing she could have done,” Lynn said.
He says he ran to get the phone, which was “5 feet away,” and dial 911. He returned in time to see his daughter making her appearance into the world, as she was halfway out, according to Lynn. The next few minutes were chaotic, as he was attempting to balance the phone and hold the baby.
For both parents, it seems as if instincts just kicked in.
“All I could think was 911, and I hope everything will be all right,” he said. Mostly, he says there was not enough time to think about anything, just react to what was happening.
Bell agrees, and said, “I didn’t have time to think.”
Matthew Lynn’s grandmother, Donna Sharp, who lives on the main floor of the house the new parents occupy, believes they did all right.
“They handled it real well, to be first-time mom and dad,” she said. Sharp wasn’t home at the time, and says had she been, she probably would have fainted.
“We’d have needed two ambulances,” Lynn said, laughing. They estimate that Raegyn Emelin Lynn made her appearance around 11:19 a.m. Saturday, which is precisely the day she was expected.
It took about 20 minutes for the ambulance to reach the residence, but Lynn and Bell say they were thoroughly impressed with the job EMTs did. According to Bell, two of the responders were not actually on duty but simply came to help.
“You couldn’t ask for better people,” Lynn said. He explains that the emergency room nurses at Ephraim were equally impressed with the EMTs and the way they handled the whole situation. He said that the staff at Ephraim simply stepped in and took over as soon as they arrived, even before mother and daughter were admitted.
Reflecting back on the experience, they all realize how easily things could have gone wrong.
“The good Lord was watching over them, that’s for sure,” Sharp said. Lynn agrees with those sentiments, echoing similar ones of his own.
Baby Raegyn is recovering nicely from the experience. When they were first admitted, the baby had a high white blood cell count and had transient tachypriea, which Bell explains is amniotic fluid on her lungs. However, now the little one is with her parents, and they say doctors are monitoring to make sure she is eating and gaining weight as she should be. They hope to go home in the next day or so.
The family also is able to joke about what happened. Bell says she and Lynn had been at the Apple Festival the night before and that her dad was there when he found out.
“Dad was cooking pork burgers,” she said, marveling at how strange it must have been for him to hear the news that way.
She also says there’s a trick to making things happen faster, one that her grandma, Polly Monday, had already warned her against.
“Eating green apples,” Bell said. Both women had eaten them shortly before their labors, and both had a quick labor. Almost too quick for Bell and Lynn.
“Next time, we’ll just come on to the hospital and wait in the parking lot,” she said, laughing.