Every birth is different and every expecting parent has a different birth plan — whether it’s a planned home birth, hospital birth, or birthing center. Sometimes (often?) in childbirth, things don’t work out exactly as expected, but it’s probably safe to say that no one expects to give birth in a parking lot, and few expect to be surprised by twins. Idaho mom Katie Clay sure didn’t.
Katie was napping with her son MJ, 2, at her parents’ Rigby, Idaho, home when her water broke. Her father called the midwife. Since Katie wasn’t having contractions yet, the midwife told her to head to the birthing center in a couple hours. “My dad called my mom at work, and she rushed home so she could take me to have the baby,” Katie told EastIdahoNews.com. Katie left a voicemail for her husband, Marcus, and got ready to go.
Things ramped up quickly, and by the time Katie’s mom, Karen, arrived on the scene, there was no time to waste. “[Contractions[ were coming strong. I was throwing stuff in bags so we could get to the birthing center, and Katie kept saying, ‘Mom, we’ve got to go,'” said Karen.
During the 15-minute drive to the birthing center, Katie said things changed and she started feeling different. “I told my mom I didn’t think we were going to make it and told her to pull over…I just knew something was happening.”
The pair pulled over and into the parking lot of a potato processing plant, Webster Potato Company on Spud Alley (it was Idaho after all), and Katie knew the baby was coming right then and there.
Her mom raced around to the passenger side of the car, where Katie had her pants off and feet braced on the dash. Katie pushed and out came her baby boy. Karen said she unwrapped the cord from baby’s neck and laid him on Katie’s chest.
But the excitement didn’t stop there.
Katie and Marcus decided early in the pregnancy to do things “the old-fashioned way,” using a midwife at a birthing center, and had eschewed having a conventional ultrasound. They didn’t want to know the gender, but they also didn’t find out that Katie was actually carrying twins.
After the first birth, the midwife arrived in the parking lot and gave Katie and the baby a clean bill of health. They drove on to the birthing center, expecting Katie to deliver the placenta.
“I got to the birthing center and learned that she had the baby in the car. That was crazy to hear, and then they cut the cord and handed the baby to me,” Marcus said. “Katie was still trying to deliver the placenta, and they were wondering why it wasn’t coming out.”
Then Katie’s water broke, again, in a gush. At that moment, Katie’s body took over and she began to push. The midwife said she thought there might be another baby. Lo and behold, baby boy number two arrived on the scene with one big push.
“It was just surreal. We were all quiet, except for the baby, and then everyone just started to laugh,” said Karen. “Oh my gosh! Did this just happen?”
Both babies and mom were in great shape following the deliveries and headed home from the birthing center later the same day. Emmanuel Azariah Clay, who was born at 12:36 p.m. in the parking lot of the potato company, weighed 6 pounds 10 ounces while his brother, Elijah Abel Clay, weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces, came into the world at 12:58 p.m. in a more traditional fashion at the birthing center.
The family of five is doing well but Katie and Marcus, after preparing for only one baby, are scrambling to get set up for two.
“Emmanuel and Elijah are sharing the crib right now, and fortunately, we already had two car seats,” explained Katie. “I still don’t think it’s set in, but we’re going to figure this out. We’re just so happy they’re healthy and here.”
Childbirth is nothing like in the movies, as these beautiful photos show.