September 21, 2021 at 7:16 p.m.
That is how Jason and Lynn Gerads feel about their new baby girl, Camille Rose, born July 7 at their 72-cow dairy farm in Stearns County near Albany.
Jason delivered his own daughter with the help of a team of first responders, including a Stearns County dispatcher and Freeport firemen, and Lynn’s sister, Amy Boecker.
Lynn had an inkling she would give birth July 7, one day past her due date, when around 5 a.m. she felt her first contraction. She decided to go out to the tiestall barn to get ready for morning milking.
“I swept up the mangers and fed ground feed and put the milkers on the cart,” Lynn said. “I was actually relieved when I felt the first contraction because it’s just Jason and I who do chores. Throughout the pregnancy, our biggest concern was who would milk for us if I had the baby during chores?”
In tune with her body and knowing how long her labor and delivery was with their first born, Lynn thought she had until late morning before she would need to get to the hospital.
Jason started milking, and Lynn called her sister who was on call to watch the couple’s 2-year-old daughter, Samantha.
“Sam was a 16-hour labor, so when I called (Boecker), I told her she just had to come to the house sometime later that day,” Lynn said. “I actually thought she’d have time to go back to sleep or do other things. I was going to let Jason keep doing chores and keep him updated.”
By 6:30 a.m., after a quick shower to clean up from the barn, Lynn’s contractions were stronger and the expecting mother made a quick change of plans.
“I called my sister and asked her to come pick up Sam and bring me to the hospital,” Lynn said. “I thought I would keep Jason updated as my labor progressed and he could come to the hospital as I got closer to the delivery. That way, he could get done with milking and some chores.”
Before Lynn’s sister arrived, she decided to take a shower, but suddenly her contractions came back to back and she was in a lot of pain. The bathroom window was open, and Jason heard Lynn screaming, so he ran to her. Boecker arrived, and they called 911.
The dispatcher walked the family through the child birth as they waited for first responders to arrive. After a quick 7 minutes on the call, shortly after 7 a.m., first responders were at the home assisting with the remainder of the delivery.
“One responder said he heard the milk pump on, so he went to the barn to make sure there weren’t any milkers underneath the cows,” Lynn said. “It was really a full-service deal.”
Jason stepped back and watched the scene unfold as the first responders cut the umbilical cord. They could not find anything to cut the cord with, so they took a boot string from one of the responder’s shoes to tie the cord off.
The newborn baby let out a cry and pinked up as one of the responders rubbed her tiny chest before placing her on Lynn’s stomach.
Eight-pound baby Camille was born around 7:15 a.m., both first responders said they did not think about looking at their watches until an emergency medical technician asked what time she was born.
Once mom and baby were in the ambulance and on their way to the hospital, Jason returned to the barn.
“He hightailed it back to the barn to finish up chores,” Lynn said.
The next day, at noon, Lynn was back home with Camille.
“Things are going well,” Lynn said. “The second baby is easier because you know what is going on. She’s sleeping through the night. She’s very calm and easy going.”
Lynn and Jason have been married 10 years and farm together on the site where Jason grew up. As the couple grows their family and raises their children on the farm, it is all they could ever want.
“We’ve really enjoyed our time with Camille. It’s always exciting to have another baby around,” Lynn said. “I really enjoy having the girls home with me. I have friends who work in town and they talk about weekends and get vacation days, and sometimes I wonder what that would be like. But then the kids would have to be at daycare and it’s just so nice they can spend the days here with us.”
Grandparents are also nearby. They help out a lot with the farm work and kids, and visit often.
“Having them help is fun, and Sam especially likes it,” Lynn said.
The couple’s oldest will be 3 in November, and they are looking forward to their daughters making memories as sisters on the farm.
For Camille, her grand entrance at the dairy will be a memory retold for a lifetime.
“My doctor has already said we should have another baby so I can experience a normal birth,” Lynn said. “A 16-hour delivery and one being born in a bath tub is too much excitement. We need something in the middle.”