DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) — Janna Oehlschlaeger knew she wanted a natural birth, but she never dreamed she’d give birth in the middle of a Denton park.
She was in early labor when she checked into Inanna Birth and Women’s Car on Thursday, where she had delivered her second baby.
“They checked Janna and said signs are pointing to a few hours away maybe,” said Ben Oehlschlaeger, Janna’s husband.
Her midwife, Jean Sala-Smith, told Janna to go for a walk, as they commonly do when women are in the early stages of labor.
The couple and Janna’s dula, or birthing assistant, walked a quarter mile loop, at a park across the street near Lowry Woods Apartments at Texas Women’s Univesrsity. About 20 minutes into their walk, while they were on the far side of the park, Janna’s water broke.
“Ben was saying, ‘Let’s just walk back,’ and I was like, ‘I can’t!’” Janna said. “I wanted to. I wanted to will myself to walk but I couldn’t. My legs were just, like, frozen.”
Their friend ran to the building to alert Sala-Smith while Ben picked up his wife, attempting to carry her back to the birthing center.
Sala-Smith sprinted outside and her only tools for this birth would be clean towels.
“I could see by the way she was being carried, I could see the baby’s head was coming out,” Sala-Smith said.
“I was just like,’Okay, I need to have this baby now!’ and there was no stopping it,” Janna said.
Staff from Inanna came outside with towels and huddled around Janna, hoping to give her a little bit of privacy.
“People were walking by going, ‘Oh my God! Is that what I think it is?’ and yeah, it was a lady having a baby in the park,” Sala-Smith said.
“I really, truly did go through every stage of labor in like hyper speed,” Janna said.
Henry Tod was born just at over eight pounds, the youngest of the Oehlschlaeger’s three children.
He was resting comfortably after his grand entrance.
“Even though it happened in the craziest way, we know that God ordained that time for him to be born,” Janna said.
Sala-Smith, who has birthed over 3,000 babies, said this was one of the most dramatic and fantastic experiences she’d ever had as a midwife.
Baby Henry’s birth announcement is now quite the story.
“Place of birth, TWU Park on the ground in leaves,” Ben Oehlschlaeger said as he laughed.
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