LYNN CENTER, Illinois -- A mom in rural Lynn Center spent months planning to give birth to her third child at home, with the help of a midwife. But the universe had other plans, putting someone else in the right place at the right time.
"I had everything all set to go weeks ago, birthing ball, music, essential oils, different laboring techniques written down," said Jacqueline Gulley.
Having birthed her daughter Zoe, 12, and her son Eli, 9, at the hospital, she chose a home birth this time around.
"I had everything set to go, but none of it was used," she laughed. None, not one."
Baby Giavanna's due date was this Friday, the 13th. Instead, she came a couple of days early, and fast.
Jacqueline was out grocery shopping with her daughter when labor pains began. The two went home, but she still felt it was nothing out of the ordinary.
Her husband and the midwife checked in over the phone to see if they needed to head to the house, but she told them no, it could wait.
Labor set in quickly and furiously.
"Five minutes later, I said, I think you guys should head here. In two minutes, it just went from zero to 100 real quick."
"We’re out here in the country, John was half an hour, from work, the midwife was half an hour out."
She told Zoe to call the neighbor, Nancy Teerlinck, who lived less than a mile down the road. Lucky for her, Nancy was at home and she is a retired flight medic.
Nancy came running when she got the call.
"I walked through the door, she was in the bathroom. I was like, ohh," Nancy recalled.
Her medic training from 18 years ago kicked in right away and she timed the contractions which were by then just a minute apart.
"I thought, 'Oh boy, here we go. We gotta get you to the bed. So we got her to the bedroom. Within three minutes we had a baby."
Baby Giavanna Gulley was delivered at a perfect 6 lbs and 8 ounces. Mama, baby, and neighbor got help from big sister Zoe
"It was scary but my mom just told me to relax," said the 12-year-old.
Dad and the midwife came just minutes later.
"John got to cut the cord," said Nancy, who saved that privilege for the father.
She said she believed there was one more person in the room that day.
"Nine years ago, on the same day, September 11, my mom passed away. This was kind of a cool thing to be able to bring her into the world.
"She was with us."
For Jacqueline, it couldn't have been more perfect.
"A really amazing experience, it couldn’t have happened any other way. It’s how the universe intended it," she said, cradling Giavanna in her arms.