LEWISBURG — It was just going to be a normal Sunday for Jay and Amberly Pettey.
Ok, maybe not normal, but the two parents expected to leisurely make their way to Good Samaritan Hospital where – in a perfectly normal fashion – Amberly was to give birth to their third child.
Two and a half hours and a Lewisburg ambulance later, their daughter Isabella was born on Salem Avenue on Jan. 17.
“About seven o’clock that Sunday morning is when (Amberly) came down and started to feel contractions. You know, a little more than normal, but she was getting breakfast, everything that is normal on a Sunday morning. We were getting ready for church and everything,” said Jay.
He then called their family friends around 8:15 a.m. and asked if their daughters could watch the Pettey’s two children that day, while he took his wife to the hospital.
Amberly said after that call, her contractions went fast and before she knew it, she was in the bathtub as Jay called 9-1-1.
“I said ‘Hey, I’m pretty sure my wife is going to be having a baby at the house,’” he said.
Lewisburg’s Fire and Emergency Unit responded promptly and parked in front of the Pettey’s house, which is right next door to their church. They brought an ambulance, service truck, and a sheriff.
The crew was led by Jim Ake, who had delivered six children before the Pettey’s lucky number seven.
He, along with his crew of Kendra Vanover and Abby Kring, delivered the child. Tim Kring was the ambulance driver while both Belinda Harry and BJ Sewert were on scene as well.
“Once I got to the hospital, I told them my wife was having a baby. They told me, ‘No, she had the baby.’ They delivered her on Salem Avenue in the ambulance,” said Jay.
“But everything went great. The baby had a great set of lungs on her.”
When the ambulance arrived to their house, Amberly’s contractions were three minutes apart. Ake knew the baby was not going to wait until they reached the hospital, but he didn’t tell the family his suspicions.
“I had never had a natural birth. I’ve had contractions before the epidural, but in some ways I was hoping she’d come out (in the ambulance) because just the pain – you have to scream! I was trying to hold off but it doesn’t work that way,” said Amberly.
Unique birth stories are not foreign to the Petteys. Their first child, Jackson, was six weeks early and came after the two had planned a weekend getaway in Dallas – and had paid for a hotel. Their daughter, Harper, was born three weeks early and decided to make her entrance when they went to a two-day conference in Detroit.
Perhaps Jay jinxed this child’s birth after joking with his wife the night before that she better have the baby soon.
“The power of your words are a little too strong sometimes,” he said.
“I’m terrified to have a fourth. You can only top what the last one has already done. What could possibly happen next? I would have to deliver the baby!”
Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.