The morning of July 23 is one Marilyn Schlueter and her family will never forget.
At around 8:45 a.m., grandmother Marilyn Schlueter talked her daughter Adriana through the delivery of a 6 lb., 10.5 oz. baby girl in Adriana’s childhood bed.
“She said mommy I can’t take this and that means it’s usually showtime,” said Marilyn, who gave birth to her son Ritchie in her own home many years ago. “Next thing you know my little granddaughter was coming. She opened one of her eyes and was just staring at me (on her way out). It was blue and we’ve had dark eyed babies for so long. I didn’t have time to get upset. I knew in my heart that my daughter needed me.”
Marilyn said her daughter looked at her and asked for an epidural.
“I had her look me in the face and I said think ‘Little House on the Prairie,’” she said. “…We were a team, we really were.”
Adriana said she couldn’t control her breathing and felt like she was going to pass out.
“I took one good push and she slid out.” Adriana added. “…I was holding her in longer than I had to. I had more back labor and couldn’t control my breathing…”
As Abigail Louise Schlueter was born, the umbilical chord remained attached and Marilyn placed the baby in a clean towel and handed her to the new mom.
Marilyn then called her daughter Amanda, who just graduated LPN school last week, and told her the news.
“It was all I could get out of my mouth…she’s here,” she said. “I then called 911. I just felt overwhelmed. The ambulance crew was awesome. They got in here and took over…I went outside and thought ‘Oh God, what just happened.’”
While many paramedics might be instructed to quickly take the mom giving birth to the hospital, the Van-Far Ambulance paramedics wisely waited for Adriana’s placenta to pass in spite of it taking quite some time to do so.
“They could have put her on a hard chair and lift her out of her bedroom or see if she could walk,” Marilyn said. “You couldn’t do that. She could have hemorrhaged or done some harm. I felt so comfortable with them in the corner. They were watching her blood pressure and they safely delivered that placenta. I commend them for how they sat with her.”
One paramedic was quick to point out that three generations were now in the same room.
The experience in her Vandalia home might never have happened if the hospital had decided to keep her there just a few hours earlier.
When Adriana was having labor pain around 4 a.m., the two quickly jumped in the car and headed to the hospital. After all, Adriana’s baby had been in the birth canal already for a couple of days as she was three centimeters dilated.
They anticipated an early arrival for a baby girl as Adriana’s due date was July 31.
But when the hospital surprisingly sent them home citing normal labor pains, Marilyn’s motherly instincts began kicking in.
She just knew something wasn’t right.
When they returned back to her home, Adriana laid down on her childhood bed while Marilyn’s mind wasn’t able to rest.
“I instinctly knew something wasn’t right,” said Marilyn, who gave birth to her son many years earlier in her own home.
“I kept pacing back and forth saying God tell me what to do. I knew that baby was probably coming in my heart and I knew we might not make it back up (to the hospital). My goal was to get her back up there.”
While Adriana remained in pain, Marilyn began to prepare for child birth though uncertain of where it would take place.
She put on her cooking apron, rubber gloves, put her hair down, put lubricant in her pocket, grabbed garbage bags for the car, had a water bottle, placed out sterile sheets and a pillow case, grabbed a clean bath towel, etc.
She said her “bumblebee camaro” was child birth ready and thought she would likely have to pull the car over to deliver the baby on the way to the hospital.
Adriana’s baby Abigail is doing well. She is now being kept busy by 2-year-old brother Tredell Johnson and 13-month-old sister Aubriana Johnson. Abigail’s middle name of Louise is also Marilyn’s middle name.
“The whole experience was not something I’d do again; it was scary and painful,” Adriana said.
“…I remember when she came out I was crying and she isn’t doing a lot of crying. It was cool as far as having a baby at home and being with my mom…She did amazing and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”