Great Catch, Coach!

 Gilbert Family Gets Surprise Home Birth

By Kathy Clayton

The Ashland Beacon

Photo Submitted | The Gilbert family loving on their new daughter Ella Gilbert

              When Ella Gilbert grows up, she will have quite a story to tell about the day she was born. The daughter of Matt and Erin Gilbert made her way into the world quickly and, unexpectedly, at home July 23, as her anxious and excited parents did their best to ease her into the world.

              “It was crazy! It was definitely an experience, but not something I’d want to go through again,” said Matt, who is the athletic director and girls basketball coach at Greenup County High School. “My wife did a great job without any medication. The cord was wrapped around her (the baby’s neck) and she got it off, and got her breathing. She’s my champion,” he said of his wife.

              Baby Ella entered the world around 1:40 a.m. July 23. “It happened really fast,” he said.

              “It all happened in about 20 or 25 minutes,” Erin said. “I woke up around 1:15 and thought I had to go to the bathroom. Then my water broke. It’s all kind of a blur.”

              “I was coming in and out of sleep,” he said, “and I heard her calling for me, said she was having really hard contractions. I called 911, said I have a 2-year-old asleep here, and I called the babysitter. By the time she (the sitter) got here, Erin really couldn’t be transported by us. She got on the floor, and she was crowning. It was really quick – in a span of about 10 minutes or so.”

              “So we delivered her there. I caught her as she came out. Our friend Hillard Brown who is a nurse practitioner got there just a couple of minutes after the birth. He checked her out and said she was OK,” Gilbert said. “Then, the ambulance got there. They cut the cord and checked her out. Their response time was really good.” Baby Ella weighed in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces.

              “He was very good about taking care of me,” said Erin. “I needed water, and he brought a towel for my neck. He called the emergency squad three times. He did everything I needed.”

              Within a half-hour, mom and daughter were transported to Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth. “They told us she had the best vitals (vital signs) of any home birth they’d seen,” Gilbert said. Erin and Ella spent less than two days in the hospital, and have been recovering at home for the past three weeks.

              During all the excitement, Emilia, who will be two in September, slept soundly just 15 feet from the arrival of her baby sister. “Now I have two under two,” Gilbert said. “It seemed like we had a houseful that night (the sitter, her husband, their friend Hillard and the emergency team). But she slept on.”

              “She’s a good big sister,” added Erin. She said her doctor's induced labor with her first child, who was born in about six hours.

              “As scary as it was, it was a beautiful moment,” Gilbert said. “I’m really grateful we had such a quick response from the emergency squad after the birth.”

              “It was a whirlwind,” said Erin. “It was really scary at the time. But I wouldn’t change it.”

              This is the Gilbert family’s fourth school year at Greenup. They moved here from the Cincinnati area.