By Greta Sowles
With the arrival of Ridgeview Medical Center’s birthing clinic in 2009, many new parents have taken advantage of the reputable clinic, choosing to give birth in one of the six birthing suites.
Andy and Lindsay Schroeder were no exception, planning to have a water birth at the Waconia clinic. Plans changed when Lindsay’s labor progressed too quickly, and instead, Oliver Schroeder arrived at Lindsay’s parents’ house and traveled to the hospital via ambulance.
On Friday, March 22, a day after her due date, Lindsay Schroeder began having contractions in the early morning. After leaving work in Minnetonka around noon, Lindsay met with her midwife, Jamie Otremba, who suggested that she stay in town. Because Lindsay, Andy and their daughter Morgan live outside of Norwood Young America, Lindsay went to her parents’ house in Waconia.
Lindsay called her birth doula, Buzzy Anderson, and asked her to come there, where they worked through the contractions as the night progressed. Otremba had told Lindsay to call the hospital when she started to get uncomfortable so the birthing clinic could prepare for her water birth before she and her husband arrived.
“As the night progressed, I was never really super uncomfortable and could always work through it, so I never thought it was really that bad,” said Lindsay.
At a little after nine, Lindsay, Andy and Anderson were collectively working through a contraction when Lindsay’s water broke and she began to feel intense pressure and the need to push.
At about 9:10, Lindsay’s mother, Luci Tellers, called 911. Within minutes the first responder was at the house, and by 9:15 the fire truck, the police officer and the ambulance had all arrived.
After a few pushes, Oliver Andrew Schoeder arrived, delivered by one of the EMTs to arrive at the scene. The EMT had only been part of an emergency home birth one other time in her five years of work as an EMT.
“After that, Buzzy said, ‘Flip over so you can see the baby,’ because we did not know if it was going to be a boy or a girl. So I flipped over, and standing along the wall behind me were like six firefighters,” said Lindsay.
“They all had tears in their eyes,” added Tellers.
Andy, Lindsay and Oliver were quickly put in an ambulance and rode to Ridgeview Medical Center where Otremba met them at the emergency room desk. They were moved to a birthing suite, where Lindsay and Oliver’s vitals were both checked. Within an hour and a half, the Schroeder’s were in a postpartum suite. There were no complications, and a healthy Oliver, mother, father and older sister went home on Sunday afternoon.
Both Anderson and Tellers were very impressed with Lindsay’s calm attitude during labor.
“She was as cool as could be,” said Anderson. “She did not look like she was freaking out.”
“It was just really quite an event to watch,” added Tellers. “Lindsay was so in control.”
In fact, Lindsay added that she wasn’t panicking on the inside either.
“I didn’t even worry about me,” she said. “I was just concerned about how the baby would come out and freaking [Morgan] out.”
Morgan, who recently turned 5, was downstairs with Lindsay’s father for most of the night.
“I was mainly concerned for their health, being here and not having access to anything in case something did happen,” added Andy.
Lindsay did extensive preparation for this labor, including getting adjusted, stretched and massaged at a chiropractor and being educated about birth plans and doulas. Because of small, unknown complications with Morgan’s birth, Lindsay wanted to avoid taking pain medications.
Anderson, who has done between 30-40 births, typically meets clients at the hospital, where her job is to provide the mother with comfort measures, whether that be in the form of food, water, massages, positioning, movement or conversation. While Anderson has had some of her own children at home, she emphasized that she was particularly following Lindsay’s agenda and did not plan to work through the labor at Lindsay’s parents’ house.
Although Anderson’s mentor and Otremba told her that she should have said something to Lindsay earlier, Anderson had no regrets.
“Lindsay’s response to me was, ‘It was exactly how I would have wanted it to go.’” said Anderson, adding that the “outcome was beautiful.”
“If you are comfortable and you feel safe in a birthing situation and you believe in the process, then it is a normal, natural function of human life,” said Anderson. “It is not a medical emergency.”
Lindsay, Andy and those present at the birth were moved by the experience are very thankful that there were no complications. This story is something Andy and Lindsay look forward to sharing with Oliver when he gets older.
Oliver Andrew Schroeder weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and was 20 inches long at birth. He is now almost 13 weeks old.