Going Rogue

Posted by Dexi

I woke-up on Saturday morning with a bit of cramping and grabbed my phone to check the time. 5:02 AM. “Too early to wake-up,” I thought. I rolled to my other side, methodically and slowly, as to not make it feel like I was going to swing my still amniotic-shacked-up baby into a different galaxy.

A few minutes later, the cramps crept back. I checked the time. 5:07 AM. Ruh-roh. Cramps spaced five minutes apart? This kind of data was familiar— could it be baby having time?

I counted slowly as the cramp continued to sprawl over my abdomen. It lasted about 30 seconds, and then it stopped completely. Double ruh-roh. We were not prepared for this! I had an induction scheduled for Monday, and my due date was still one week away. My last child made her entrance three days late. I couldn’t be in labor— these must be Braxton Hicks contractions. And I don’t want to be that dippidy-doo-dah who shows up to the hospital with “practice” contractions.

I kind of shoved everything into the back of my brain as the minutes ticked by. More contractions. Same intervals. I had to go to the bathroom, so I got up and went. The bloody show— triple ruh-roh!

At this point, I still didn’t think I could actually be in labor. If my contractions were this close, shouldn’t my water have broken already? That’s how it happened last time.

“Welp, regardless, I had better clue the husband in,” I thought.

I turned on the light and nudged Ben at about 5:30. “Ben. Ben. I think I’m. In labor?”

Ben opened his eyes and shot up, “What?”

“I think I’m in labor?” I repeated. “But maybe not. I’m not sure. Can you call the hospital?”

As Ben called the hospital, which is a titch over 40 miles away, I went on the hunt for my copy of What To Expect When You’re Expecting. According to the text, it sounded as though I was in the early stages of labor. Yes, my contractions were only five minutes apart, but the pain wasn’t doubling me over, and I didn’t have a back-ache, or any of that nonsense.

“The nurse said if it’s just the bloody show, you might want to come in,” Ben announced.

Just? Might? What is that supposed to mean?”

“I don’t know. That’s what she said. Do you want to go in?”

“Yes? I think? I’m not sure. I don’t want to wake-up Desirae for nothing. She has a busy day today. She has to sell concessions at a basketball tournament.”

Desirae is my hashtag bestie, and she was our “ditch the toddler when I go into labor” number one plan. But she was expecting to take Scarlett on Monday, the induction date, and we had never discussed any other possibility.

At that moment, the aforementioned toddler toddled out of her bedroom and into ours, rubbing her eyes. I picked her up, her legs wrapped over the top of my belly, and said, “Daddy and I have to go soon, Scars Baby. Let’s change your diaper.”

So I changed Scarlett’s diaper as Ben declared that he was going outside to start the decrepit Town and Country— our awesome minivan. I then tried calling Desirae twice in a row, but she didn’t answer. I was envisioning what we would do with our child if I could not get a hold of her. Hurriedly write on Facebook, “Quick!WhoisawakeandcantakeScarlettrightnow?!”? No. I couldn’t do that. I have always told myself that I would never whore my child out on the Book of Face for a babysitter. Try calling other friends?

Ben came back into the house.

“Desirae won’t answer,” I told him. “Can you call Johnny (her husband) and start packing? I’m going to take a shower.”

“A shower?!” Ben asked, bewildered.

“Yeah. I fell asleep on the couch last night with my make-up on. I’m gross. I have time. The nurse said just the bloody show.”

So I rub-a-dubbed up, taking my sweet time. I called out to Ben, “Did Johnny answer?”

“What? I thought you said you were going to call Johnny.”

“No. Can you call Johnny?”

Ben called Johnny. No answer. A minute later, Johnny called back.

“He said Dez will be here in two minutes,” Ben reported.

As Ben packed Scarlett’s bag and his bag, I began to pack mine. Since the summertime when I bought a pair of slippers, I had imagined that I would wear them in the hospital after I had my baby. Nice and cozy. I found one of them sitting on my bedroom floor, but I couldn’t find the other gosh dern thing.

“Have you seen my other slipper?” I asked Ben.

Ben dug through my bag, “It’s right here,” Ben announced.

“No. That’s the one I already found and packed. I need the other slipper.”

I moseyed around the house looking for the slipper, and I came up empty-handed.

“Boo,” I whined to myself, and then I just grabbed a few pairs of Cabela’s wool socks instead (best things evvvvverrr!).

Desirae showed up at our door shortly thereafter, and without any complaining, off Scarlett went.

As I walked to the minivan to begin our trek to the hospital, I noticed that my cramps were getting increasingly worse— it was hard to walk. Now I was able to admit that my cramps were indeed contractions.

When Ben and I were about a half of a mile into our journey, he said, “Oh. I forgot my chapstick at home. I need to go back and get it.”

“Can’t you just buy a new one at a gasoline station on the way?” I asked.

Ben laughed. “I’m kidding, Doodle! We’re not going back for chapstick!”

About 7 miles into the 42 or so mile drive, I noticed that Ben was going about 80 mph. “Ben! You don’t need to go so fast! What if you hit a deer?”

“Doodle! There aren’t going to be any deer hanging out on the highway. It’s 30 below. They’re probably canoodling in a marsh together.”

I thought that sounded legit, so I let him go as fast as he wanted.

As time marched on, my contractions grew worse and worse. They were at the point that I needed to yell and moan a little bit as they waved over me. As I moaned, I kept picturing a woman in my mind who was lamenting over something. It was a part of a movie scene, and the way the woman cried always bugged the crap out of me. At that moment, I thought I sounded like her, and it was plaguing me. It made the contractions that much worse, focusing on something so stupid. But it kept bothering me. What movie was that from? What movie was that from?

And then I thought of a basketball game that Ben and I were watching on TV the night before. When the game came back from a commercial, the camera was honed in on a cheerleader. She made a really weird noise, and Ben kept re-playing the moment over and over again. We laughed and laughed as we made fun of this cheerleader’s odd sound.

“I sound like that cheerleader! Noooo!” I thought in my brain. This also made it increasingly hard to contract in peace. (Later on in the day, Ben admitted to me that he also thought of the cheerleader while I was making these noises.)

With that thought, my water broke. Quadruple ruh-roh. I told Ben and then added, “I probably won’t be able to have an epidural by the time we get there.”

Sitting down was proving to be too hard, so I unbuckled my seatbelt and threw off my sweatshirt. I was now wearing my purple and black muck boots, a pair of pajama pants, and a bright green, hi-liter looking t-shirt that I earned by running a 5k the summer before. I kept trying to find a moment to rid myself of my boots, but during my cramping bouts, I was standing up, kind of falling into the next row of seats in the minivan. I had to wriggle around and contort my body in order to make the contractions tolerable.

(This map is a picture of the highway we took to the hospital. Notice all of the hills. It is also very twisty and turny, although the picture does not do it justice.)


Before we left the house, I had called my mother and told her that I was in labor. I said that I would text her when we were about ten minutes out from the hospital. So as the pain grew worse and I became more squirmy, I quickly sent her a text: “Very intense now. I won’t be calling. About 10 minutes away.” This message was sent at 6:47 AM.

My contractions were now extremely close together. They, in fact, just felt like one large exploding pain. I flailed into the back seat again, crying out. All the while, it hit me. The movie was The Virgin Suicides. When the first sister in the movie died, the roars and woes of the mother were the noises flooding my brain. Ew. That was who I sounded like? I always had a hard time listening to that part of the movie. This realization disgusted me.

Click here to watch the video of the woman crying. It is at about 2 minutes.

Hurry, hurry. We have to hurry. Ben was trying to hurry— he was driving about 90 miles per hour when traffic was not in his way. I looked out of the front window and noticed that a vehicle in front of us was purposefully lurching along, probably because Ben was being Speedy Gonzalez.

Of course. That is sooooo something Ben would do to someone else— be an a-hole and drive really slowly because the person behind him is going too fast. This was payback time, unfortunately.

“Don’t push!” Ben advised over my moans and groans.

As a contraction peaked, I thought, “Oh my goodness. The pressure. So much pressure. Could I be having this baby right here, right now?” With Scarlett, I had an epidural, and I couldn’t actually feel her coming out. Is this what having a baby feels like? I pictured myself lying on the side of the shivering highway as cars passed by, in the typical bed-laboring position.

I couldn’t help it. I had to push.

Either I was about to have a kid, or I really had to number two. In both scenarios, I should probably pull my pants down.

So I pulled my pants down.

“Call 911!” I yelled to Ben.

“What?” Ben asked.

I was instantly irritated with the what. “Call 911!” I repeated.


“The baby. I’m going to have the baby. Pull over!”


“Pull over!”

“I’m not pulling over. We’re almost there.”

“I think it’s coming out!”

At 6:51 AM, Ben called 911 and jumped out of the driver’s seat. He opened the sliding door of the van, exposing my rear-end to the 28 below zero temperatures— and also to the morning commuters on Highway 38.

I heard him talking on the phone to the dispatcher: “The baby is coming! The baby its coming! It’s crowning! I see the head. I have the head in my hand! The baby is out! I’m holding the baby.”

Now, pardon all of the exclamation points, but this is really how it happened— plain ol’ periods just wouldn’t convey the craziness that surrounded this circumstance.

And as for me? Pure. Relief. Getting that baby out was pure relief. I instantly felt so much better.

After a few seconds of calm, we realized the magnitude of the situation. Ben was standing outside in the frigid cold with a naked baby in his hands. This child went from a 98.6 degree environment to a 28 below icicle crazy world in a matter of seconds. That is a a 126.6 degree difference, my fellow mathematicians. The baby probably thought it was on Pluto.

“The umbilical cord,” I said. “Can you pass the baby between my legs?”

Ben, with the phone still tucked underneath his chin, passed the child to me with his one hand. Hunched over, as to not break the umbilical cord, or pull out all of my placenta, or whatever would end up happening if I tugged the cord too hard, I sat down on my overnight bag, which was on the seat of the van, and held the baby on my lap.

As Ben continued to speak with the dispatcher on the phone and hurried around, I watched the baby, looking for signs of life. No crying. No whimpering. I thought, Is that it? Has the sickness and pregnancy, the heartbeats heard at our prenatal appointments, the planning and excitement, and now all of this, been for nothing?

Ben and I both held our breath, maybe trying to pass signs of life on to our new little baby. 

After a few seconds, we could see hints of breathing here and there. For now, our kid was OK.

Right when Ben was putting a blanket over the baby (Thank the Lord that He equipped me with the good sense to grab a blanket before we left the house!), I noticed for the first time, “Oh. She’s a girl.” I then paused and rummaged through our baby name list in my brain. “Her name is Rogue Clara.”

(Definition of Rogue on a baby name website. Note how Scarlett is also listed on this screenshot.)


Now since Rogue means one who is unpredictable or goes off of the beaten path, it sounds like I made up this name on the spot, since it so very well fits the situation. But that is not that case. In the summer of 2015, Scarlett and I went on a 3 week road trip around the western United States. I was newly pregnant with Rogue, and as I crossed over a river in Oregon, I looked at the sign. The river was called the Rogue River. “Rogue,” I thought. “I’m kind of going rogue right now. That would be a neat name for a baby girl.”

Ben and I sat with our brand new baby, Rogue, as we waited for the paramedics to arrive. Once they got there, they cut the umbilical cord and made sure Rogue was faring well. My pants still around my ankles, they got me out of the van and onto the stretcher. And thank You again Lord, that they had enough sense to get my half naked body out of the van on the side that did not face traffic.

Once we were settled into the ambulance (brrrrrrr!), I asked one of the paramedics for the time. 7:05. Ben, Rogue, and I had just survived the experience of a lifetime, which lasted two hours and three minutes.


(These were my hasty contraction times that I was trying to track. I gave up when the going got tough.)times

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38 thoughts on “Going Rogue

  1. I love to read your blogs dexi. You are a great story teller. This is so dear to me. So THANKFUL that God protected you all. You and Ben are truly blessed with Scarlett and rogue. A beautiful love story! (I remember that morning well. I was at work early. Ben called or texted? Said you were on YOUR way to the hospital and your water had just broke. Then not long after I got a text saying delivered baby on highway 38, baby girl. I was wondering who delivered her? I think I texted more info please? 😇

  2. I love tHis story! I remember a co-Worker talking about thIs news story when it was aired. Your life sounds like a very fun adventure dexi.

  3. Wow!!! That is an INCREDIBLE birth story!!! That actually one of my biggest fears…my husband would probably pass out!

  4. This is so epic! You go mama! My first son was born in a birthing center and my daughter was born at home – I do not envy you the car ride! lol that was the worst part of my son’s birth!

  5. This story amazed me even when i first heard it. some life experiences we are so blessed with being able to keep forever and share with otheRs!

  6. This was an awesome story. Jist like all your stories.

  7. You are an amazing woman!

  8. Crazy stuff dexi! I hope to make it to the hospital in time, but do hope for a quick labor…. we will see! Good Blog!

  9. Everytime I start to tell my labor story “having winston”, someone will Always interrupt me and bring up your Story, or ask if I actually was the woman who gave birth in her van? I just the have to admit that no I Was the lady who could have had a child in her car, but I Got to The hospital… never will I ever be as astounding as you lol.

  10. Hands down best delivery story ever!

  11. That’s one you’ll never forget! Her name is definitely fitting and I love her Town and country shirt.

  12. Such a great stOry this little one will be aBle to tell. Congrats!!!!

  13. WHAT AN amazing event, and a super job on posting your experiences. I continue to be amazed every time I hear or read the wonderful accomplishment you and your husband achieved together! My deliveries were so long and intense, we DEFINITELY could have drove to Dallas Texas, with time to spare, even though I would have had to drive myself because I am quite sure I would have threw him out half way.😎 All of my 4 children were born at Bigfork Valley. The NURSES used to flip to see which ones had to stay there for my deliveries, and usually a couple Doctors too. Congrats you too kids!!

  14. Unbelievable day! Besides a new baby, you have unforgettable memories!!

  15. Always great writing and i Always Get many chuckles while reading. Thanks for shaRing!!

  16. I still giggle a little when I read this post. Not because it is a funny situation, but BECAUSE Thor AND I have played out this situation with all 3 kids. What happens IF…On the way to hibbing? I’m such a nervous nelly that we end up going multiple times.
    I could see us in the situation if there happens to be a 4th because I am tired of the back and forth stuff. I think we would do pretty well!
    Way to go you two!


  18. Love your story! I was so like “guys, i know her!!” And then Thought of course that would happen to you. I dont see that happening to me since we are done having kids and i’m 7 minutes from the clinic.

  19. I cannot imagine getting into such a situation, as I have never been pregnant!! But I don’t think you could have avoided it, so I guess it could happen to anybody! I’m just glad it happened to you!!

  20. I recently had my second child and towards the end of my pregnancy i kept thinking, “what if i have the baby in the car like Dexi?” Mind you it would have been May in Utah and Not the friGidness of minnesota, but it was still always in the back of my mind.

  21. i Was only in Painful, measurable labor for about 30 minutes before having Dylan at the bigfork hospital. when i was pregnant with Aidan i was sure i would be giving birth in the car On the way to Rapids. We had an induction scheduled for July 4, but i kept telling the doctor that he was going to be born before then. I woke up July 2 in labor. Luckily (?) he decided to put me through the longest and most painful labor of the three of them. We made it in plenty of time. 🙂

    1. So Dylan made the Bigfork birthing days! Cool. I swear about 10 kids have told me they were the last baby born there. Haha!

  22. Oh my gosh dexi! I cannot imagine this happening to me! With no kiddos of my own, this terrifies me! Ha!

  23. I cannot imagine this happening to me. Although, while very pregnant with the twins, two yr old in back seat we came upon a horrific car accident and My first thought was im an EMT, but also in preterm labor, barefoot, because no shoes fit, and a toddler in back seat. I was interviewed At the hospital about the accident.

    1. Crazy!

  24. I had audie just a month or so before you had rogue so having a baby was so fresh in my mind. But my husband is aN emt and we always Joked about him delivering onE of our kids. I canT evEn imagine The cold and having a baby on the sIde of the road though. 😬

  25. I think i can imagine this happening to me. Alrhough It woukd have hAd to have happened quite a few years ago now! My first 3 daughters, as you know, were pretty quick labors and deliveries. My water broke in the car on the way to the hospital with Lindsi. And that was in my best friend’s car! Danni was clOse to being born in the bathroom in the hospItal, and loni could easily have been born in The PIrate’s Den in the Falls shopping mall where My water broke. She was delivered minutes later in the hospital. Dexi and Deion were pokier. End of story.

  26. I Cannot see myself in this situAtion! Both my kids took Their sweet ass time coming out of me! I couLd havE had lunch, shopped in walmart, and went to a movie in the time that my kids FINALLY made their appearance. 😉 You and ben are amazing peeps and i am so lucky to know you TWo!

  27. Just Beautiful! It’s wonderful that you have So many interesting, and Comical experiences to share with your littles. Life is for Living, and you are Doing it memorably, whether intentionally or not.I could “imagine” myself on the end of this situation, my youngest was almost born at Home, as I refused for hours to Go to hospital for fear of False Labor, but Decided Last Min. it would be best. Our Hospital however was only 5 min away, Not 30 below, and we made it just in time. So Actually Quite a Bit Different haha. I could Also see myself someday being in Ben’s place, as a Proud Nana,helping to bring at least one of my Grandchildren into the World, and the odds may be in my favor Ready or not. It must have been such a scary, but wonderful experience for you both. Sometimes peace overrides fear though, and you just do what you need to do, until you take a deep breath after the fact, and are Like, I can’t believe that Just Happened.The Both of you are Super Heroes 🙂 Crazy, Fun Loving, Super heroes. Can’t wait to hear More of Your Adventures, and that of ParentHood! LOVE!

  28. To AMSWER the 1st question: I cannot see myself getting in that situation. I think (hope) I’m too close to the hospital to give birth before I made it there…unless there was a train stuck on the tracks, or a chemical spill. Anyway, if it did happen i’d be in trouble! Cuz I’ve had 3 c-SECTIONS already.

    1. I don’t know danni, those trains can be looooooong.

  29. it is possible that i could get myself into this siTuation after having 4 kiddos with each time being quicker. Whats on my side is that i had to be induced for the last 3, so if i dis have another and have contractions i would quickly get myself to the hoSpital!!

  30. If I were to be in a situation like this I don’t beleive my husband or I would have handled it so calmly. I would have freaked out and most likely passed out from pain and who knows he would have not stopped until we were at the hospital Since he is scared to death of blood. I laugh and cry every TIME.e I read this blog and it makes my heart happy that I was part of the plan to take scarlett. Even though it wasn’t the right day! Haha

    1. Haha! and your lies to everyone about why you couldn’t work the concession stand!

  31. I have been waiting for this blog post and you did not disappoint! Nice work – both on the roadside birthing and the post. 🙂

  32. I am so glad you wrote this blog entry! This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever read! You’re a rockstar!

  33. Amazing! I have been waiting for this post and you did not disappoint. GREAT story and so thankful for your safe and happy outcome.

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