by Laura Sussely-Pope
Josh and Stephanie Ihnen went to the hospital when Stephanie was 38 weeks pregnant and feeling contractions. After being examined and monitored, the doctors sent them home, saying that labor was not imminent.
However, just a few hours after arriving home from the hospital, baby Cameron decided that his arrival was imminent indeed.
The couple, set to celebrate their first anniversary went to Sanford Hospital Tuesday afternoon because Stephanie was having contractions.
After being examined and monitored, physicians determined Stephanie, who was just past her 38th week, wasn't dilating. They sent her home, estimating it could be a few more days before she'd go into labor.
Yet just a few hours later, as she laid down to get some rest at 2 a.m., Stephanie got up to use the restroom. Not long after waking, she felt as though she was in labor and yelled for her husband Josh.
"I'm like, 'I think he's coming,' and he comes running in and says, 'What do you mean?’ Stephanie Ihnen said. "He said, 'Well, what do you want me to do?' I told him to help me get to the floor, call 911 and they will walk us through this."
There wasn't much time to lose. The couple estimates it took about two minutes from the time Stephanie laid on the floor to actual delivery of the baby. At seven pounds, seven ounces and 19 1/2 inches long, baby Cameron Lee Ihnen was born.
"I was scared and shocked at the same time," Josh Ihnen said. "They asked me if he was breathing, and I told them no, so they told me to rub his back for about 30 seconds, so I did that and he started to breathe a little bit, but then he all the sudden stopped."
Josh said the 911 operator, whom he said remained calm during the ordeal, then told him to tie the umbilical cord with something, which ended up being a shoelace from his work boot.
"It seemed like after I did that, he started breathing all right, and I grabbed a towel and wiped his face and his nose," Josh said. "I put him in a towel and gave him to her and went outside and waited for the ambulance and fire trucks."
Just a few minutes later, he said, emergency crews arrived. "There were three or four (EMTs) there who said I did a really good job," he said. "It was crazy. I would never want to do that again."
At the hospital, mom and baby were deemed healthy, but they likely will be staying until Friday. Explaining what happened to Josh's 6-year-old son from another relationship was interesting, he added.
"He said, 'Dad, you could be a doctor now,' Josh Ihnen said with a chuckle. "I said, 'No, not quite.'"
Other family members said they were shocked when they heard about the unexpected delivery. Doctors from the hospital say that it's common for physicians to send patients home if dilation isn't occurring.
One doctor noted, "Average labor for first-time mothers is between 12-14 hours. When a woman's cervix opens up for delivery, it typically opens about one centimeter an hour, but for some women, that process can go a lot faster, and it is more common with women who have had more that two children."
While they can laugh about it now, the couple said it was an intense moment that they won't forget. They’re thankful it turned out the way it did.
"I hope any future deliveries go as easy, but I'd rather be in the hospital," Stephanie said with a laugh.
What would you do in this situation? Would you be able to do what this couple did?
Photo courtesy of KFSY.