- Associated Press - Monday, March 20, 2017

BATESVILLE, Ark. (AP) - When Stephanie Hendricks woke up around 2:30 March 5, she thought she might be in labor.

Her March 15 due date was close enough to make it a reality, so she called husband David, who was working in Texas, and told him not to start home until she knew for sure, The Batesville Daily Guard (https://guardonline.com/?p=232005 ) reported.

It was approximately 2:51 when she called her mother, Nikki Boutwell, to come and get 6-year-old Lillian. Stephanie knew it would take her mother around 20 minutes to arrive from her Cushman home before she could drive herself to the hospital.

In the meantime, her contractions were coming about 10 minutes apart.

Around 3:10 Boutwell arrived. Stephanie’s contractions were at six minutes.

Boutwell agreed to take Lillian to her other daughter, who lived just a couple minutes away and then return to take Stephanie to the hospital.

Both women would later recall they spent about “10 minutes lollygagging and getting things ready to go to the hospital.”

When her mother returned Stephanie had nixed the idea of her mother driving her to the hospital and told her, “Call an ambulance.”

Boutwell told her daughter to get in the car, that she could drive her quicker.

“I said, ‘No, you call 911! I’m fixing to have this kid!’”

David Hendricks didn’t listen to his wife.

As soon as they hung up he started the 340-mile drive from Kilgore, Texas, to Batesville. He didn’t want to miss his daughter’s arrival.

In the meantime, Megan Wood with Vital Link dispatch was on the phone with Boutwell telling her she needed to stay calm and to place Stephanie on the bathroom floor for a possible home delivery.

It was probably close to 3:20 when Boutwell started gathering up towels and pillows.

“She told me to get comfortable,” Stephanie said. “How do you get comfortable?”

Also, knowing her mother was in charge wasn’t the most reassuring moment.

“She won’t appreciate this, but she tends to panic,” Stephanie said, laughing.

Boutwell didn’t panic, however, when she realized her granddaughter was going to make her appearance before paramedics could arrive.

“That’s when I knew it was real,” she said.

Stephanie, who had planned on having an easy delivery, with the aid of an epidural, was yelling through the contractions.

Boutwell wasn’t keeping silent either.

“I must have yelled, ‘Oh, Jesus! Oh, Jesus!’ a million times,” she said.

While all that commotion was taking place at the Hendrix household, David was getting a call from his friend, Kody Headley, who works for the Batesville Police Department, asking if Stephanie was in labor.

During their conversation, David heard the dispatcher say: The cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck.

“She was blue,” Boutwell said. “We both just looked at her in disbelief. She (Stephanie) asked me if the cord was around her neck and I said, ‘no.’”

Realizing the cord was, Boutwell slipped it off and started patting Laney on the back. When Laney cried, Boutwell said, “I knew she was fine.”

Stephanie said the entire episode still doesn’t seem real.

“These types of things happen on TV, but not in real life.”

Even though Dr. E.J. Jones had told her she might go into labor early, it was still a shock. Six years earlier she was induced with Lillian and was still in labor for seven hours.

While they waited for David to arrive and meet his baby girl, the hospital was giving Laney a clean bill of health.

With the exception of her mother and sister, who is a registered nurse, Stephanie said other friends and family waited until he could see her.

Well, except for the police officers and paramedics, she added, laughing, explaining her embarrassment of the situation.

But Stephanie is quick to give her mom credit for keeping calm throughout the delivery.

Her mother agreed it was somewhat chaotic.

“The paramedics came rushing in, suctioned the baby and cut the cord.”

Boutwell said she almost took a shower when Stephanie called, but for some reason decided to hurry.

“I just have to give the glory to the Lord. It was boom, boom, boom. There are so many scenarios that could have happened.”

The now grandmother of nine said this was a first for her.

“When I saw that arm fly out like a fast softball pitcher and the rest of her follow, it was like she was sliding into home plate. She may be our little fast-pitch softball player.”

Stephanie laughs, saying the birth certificate information is blank on who caught her.

“She just landed on the floor.”


Information from: Batesville Guard, https://www.guardonline.com/

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