Nine months pregnant, Amanda Anderson began having contractions about two minutes apart Thursday, and she assumed her third child would arrive soon, in advance of the predicted snow and ice storm.
But when she and her fiancé went to two hospitals, Lake Norman Regional Medical Center and Carolinas HealthCare System Lincolnton, they were sent home because doctors and nurses said she wasn’t ready, that her cervix wasn’t dilated enough.
Hours later, at 7:37 a.m. Friday, with snow and ice covering the roads, Anderson gave birth on the couch at her parents’ Cornelius home. She was surrounded by her fiancé, her mother, father and grandmother and about a half dozen paramedics and firefighters.
Shortly after the birth, paramedics drove mother and baby, Annabelle Jade Sutton, to Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, the closest hospital. Both are doing well, resting and basking in the celebrity of being interviewed by local TV and newspaper reporters.
Thursday had been a stressful day.
Anderson said she went to Lake Norman Regional in Mooresville about 12:30 p.m., because she was having contractions. She had given birth twice before, to daughters Cali, 6, and Jordan, 2, and thought it was time.
But the hospital sent her home, saying her cervix was barely dilated. Later, she called her doctor in Lincolnton who told her to come to the hospital there for observation. She and fiancé Joseph Sutton stayed for several hours, but about 11:30 p.m. she was sent home again.
“We were hoping they were going to keep me over at Lincolnton,” she said. When they didn’t, “I had a feeling I was going to get stuck delivering her at home or stuck delivering her in the car.”
Early Friday, when Anderson’s contractions got stronger, Sutton began warming up the car to take her back to Lincolnton, a 40-minute drive.
“I said, ‘I can’t. There’s no way,’ ” Anderson said. Instead, they called 911, and within 30 seconds of MEDIC’s arrival, Annabelle was born.
“I pushed twice and she was out,” Anderson said.
The baby weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces, measured 19 inches long, and is blissfully unaware of the winter storm or the swirl of attention she caused.
“She’s actually in daddy’s arms right now, sleeping,” Anderson said.