COQUILLE — Oakland High School graduate Sierra (Miller) Stone was getting ready to have her second child and it didn’t seem out of the ordinary. But as she got closer to the due date, things started getting crazy and it all ended with a very unusual delivery.
Stone and her husband, Derek Stone, live in Coquille, where Sierra Stone works for the Coquille Valley Hospital. But since her hospital doesn’t deliver babies, the couple knew they would have to go to Coos Bay for the delivery, which is about a 20-mile trip.
For about a week and a half, Stone’s midwife kept telling her the baby could come any time and on Thursday, Feb. 28, she went into labor and it went all through the weekend. On March 4, a contraction woke her up early in the morning. She started timing the contractions and they were only about two minutes apart.
“I woke my husband up and told him, you need to take me to the hospital, my contractions are two minutes apart or less,” she said.
“It was a pretty wild ride,” said Derek Stone. “There were a lot of false starts throughout the week, and when she woke me up and said they’re two minutes apart, I said, ‘Holy cow, let’s go.’”
He asked if he had time to take a shower, and she said, “Oh yeah, you shower fast.”
The couple didn’t leave their home until 8:30 a.m. after she’d been in labor for about an hour, and then her contractions started coming faster with a new one starting before the last one was done. They had been in the vehicle for about 10 minutes when she got the urge to push. Then she realized the amniotic sac was partially out, and she thought she was about to have the baby right there in the car.
“So at that point, my husband really started driving fast,” Sierra Stone said.
Derek Stone is an autocross racer and his talent in that area paid off. Derek Stone said he turned on his flashing emergency lights on his Jeep Cherokee while his wife hung on to a handle above the seat to keep from sitting on the amniotic sac and tried to slow down the urge to push.
“We started out going the speed limit and when we were about halfway there, she told me the baby was about to fall out, so I stepped on it,” Derek Stone said. “We made good time and covered the 20 miles in about 15 minutes and I had to use all my racing experience to keep everybody safe while still getting there quickly and we made it with about 90 seconds to spare.”
Sierra Stone’s mother, Carol Lovegren Miller, who lives in Oakland, was there to assist and followed them in her own vehicle.
“I opted to drive behind and I’m really glad I did because 90 miles an hour would have scared me to death,” Miller said.
Derek Stone drove to the emergency entrance and ran in and told a nurse they needed help, and that his wife was in labor and crowning.
“At that point, the staff started swarming and helped me get on a gurney, because I’m stuck, hanging from the handle on the ceiling because I don’t want to sit on the amniotic sac and break it,” Sierra Stone said.
She was placed on a gurney and headed for the labor and delivery unit. On the way, she had a contraction, so everybody stopped, and the nurses thought she was going to have the baby in the hallway. But she didn’t, so they headed on to the delivery room, and within a minute she had the baby.
“It was about two pushing contractions after we arrived and he came out totally encased in the amniotic sac because my water never did break,” Sierra Stone said.
That is a very rare occurrence, less than one in 80,000 births happen en caul, or born in a bubble. But even though it’s rare, it’s not necessarily a dangerous situation.
“My midwife broke the sac and got the baby out, so it’s not harmful to the mom or the baby, but it obviously needed to be addressed,” Sierra Stone said. “It was definitely an adventure.”
By 9 a.m. on March 4, Izaak Alexander Stone was born, and now mom, dad, and big brother, 2-year-old Zane, are all doing fine, but it’s an adventure they won’t soon forget.