The Washington Times-Herald

March 19, 2014

Ready or not - here I come

By Lindsay Owens Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald

---- — MONTGOMERY - Kevin and Amanda Swartzentruber were expecting the arrival of their fifth child around March 10, but the newest member of their family decided to wait a couple of extra days before he made his grand appearance last Wednesday. Lucky No. 5, this particular little one was to be the first boy in a family with four darling little girls and decided that once he was ready to welcome the world, he couldn’t wait until his parents made it to the hospital.

With their four girls, Kiah, 11, Ava, 8, Kari, almost 6, and Margaret, 3, Amanda had very long labors. So Wednesday afternoon when she started experiencing light contractions, she thought nothing about it and carried on with her day.

“She didn’t even mention the contractions to me until we were heading out the door to church,” said Kevin. “She told me she thought they would continue to progress but we had a plan in place and thought we had plenty of time because of our experiences with the girls.”

At the conclusion of church, the family stopped for gas and headed home with Amanda behind the wheel. With their plan in place, Kevin put the girls to bed and Amanda started preparing to leave for Daviess Community Hospital. “Amanda took a bath and was getting things ready and I had called her mother, Rosa, to come take Amanda to the hospital. Rosa was just a few minutes away.”

As the couple prepared to leave, Kevin had told his mother-in-law that the garage door would be open and Amanda would be waiting in the van. Kevin decided he still had enough time to take a quick shower and to brush his teeth, but as he was applying the toothpaste, he heard Amanda scream from the garage.

“I yelled for Kevin that the baby was coming,” said Amanda. By the time Kevin arrived in the garage, little Judah was well on his way. There was no time for the family to make the 10 minutes trip to the hospital.

Kevin found Amanda in the back of the van and Judah’s head was already emerging.

“With the second contraction, I could see his shoulders and then with the next one, he was here,” said Kevin.

While it’s not every day that a father delivers his child or delivers his child in the back of a van, what sets the Swartzentrubers’ story apart from others is that Kevin is legally blind.

“It was dark in the garage already, but with my lack of vision, I had no visibility at all,” said Kevin. “I had to depend on my sense of touch.”

Kevin checked to make sure the umbilical cord was not wrapped around the baby’s neck and noticed that the amniotic sack was still surrounding Judah.

With his bare hands, Kevin tore open the sack surrounding his only son and used his finger to clear his mouth.

“I grabbed him by the waist and held him upside down until he began to cry,” Kevin said.

The entire birthing process only took a matter of moments, but Kevin said it felt like an eternity.

Little Judah Nicholas, all 7 pounds and 7 ounces of him, was born just over an hour after the family arrived home from church.

The couple called Dr. Stephen Cullen to tell them the news. The Swartzentrubers’ baby was to be the last that Cullen would be delivering.

“We told him you aren’t going to believe this,” said Amanda.

Kevin told Dr. Cullen: “You aren’t going to believe this! I just delivered the baby in our van parked in our garage.”

On the way to the hospital Amanda told Kevin they hadn’t checked to see if he was a boy. “He quickly told me, he was definitely a boy,” she said with a laugh.

“When I was tearing the amniotic sack off, I could tell,” said Kevin with a grin.

While delivering baby Judah in the van was not part of the couple’s plan, they said they had educated themselves about the birthing process, but never imagined they would put into use what they learned from them.

“It was amazing. I never felt nervous. There was this peace over me. The Lord provided what I needed when I needed it,” said Kevin, who admitted that his adrenaline rush was wearing off by the time the couple arrived at the hospital.

“Kevin may not have a degree in obstetrics, but in that moment of complete chaos, his inner calm assurance that God is faithful to provide kept me grounded,” said Amanda.

“I knew what God had done before through this man and I was completely assured that God would do it again.”

Amanda said she and Kevin had already selected the name Judah before their son entered the world but his name is definitely fitting.

“I had written in my prayer journal on Feb. 6, ‘The name Judah means ‘praise’ in Hebrew. I am so very much anticipating meeting our sweet Judah Nicholas very soon. Lord, I do praise you for his sweet life and I believe that his life will bring You praise.’ Through the circumstances surrounding Judah’s birth God completely provided and he is worthy of praise.”