Baby born in park after parents decide to take a walk

Feb. 14, 2014 at 1:12 PM
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DENTON, Texas, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A Texas woman who decided to take a walk after checking into a birthing center said she thought she had hours of labor left when she gave birth in a park.

Janna Oehlschlaeger said she and her husband, Ben, decided to take a walk Thursday after checking into Inanna Birth & Women's Care in Denton because she did not think her labor was very far along, the Denton Record-Chronicle reported Friday.

Oehlschlaeger said she had been walking for about 20 minutes on paths near Lowry Woods Apartments on the Texas Woman's University campus when she realized the birth would be happening soon.

"As we were walking, I felt like my contractions were getting hard and I remember thinking, 'OK, this isn't good if they are this hard.' I thought I had hours ahead of me," she said.

Oehlschlaeger's husband attempted to carry her back to the hospital, but she realized they would not make it in time and had him set her down.

A friend was able to retrieve birthing assistants and supplies from Inanna and newborn Henry Todd entered the world in the park.

"They probably thought we were doing some scene from a movie or something," Oehlschlaeger said. "It was really crazy, but in that crazy situation it was really calm. Everything went really, really smooth, and for it being a crazy situation it was kind of a textbook birth."

Jean Sala-Smith, owner and clinical director of the birthing center, said the birth was unique.

"I've delivered more than 3,000 babies in my lifetime, but never something like this," Sala-Smith said. "Mom was really rattled and the dad I thought was going to have a heart attack -- my heart just broke for him because I know he was so scared. Nobody comes in and says they're going for a leisurely walk with the anticipation of giving birth in 20 minutes."

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