WILLARD -- Ashley Marsden was born at home 31 years ago on Sept. 19 when her mother didn't have time to make it to the hospital after she went into labor.
In the wee hours Monday morning, Sept. 19, history repeated itself when Marsden herself went into labor. Like her mother, she didn't make it to the hospital in time. Instead, her husband Ben, delivered their fourth child on the side of I-15.
"I would much rather have had the baby at home than out on the freeway. But I do think it's kind of cool that the same thing that happened to my mom happened to me," Ashley said.
Marsden woke up about 2 a.m. with strong contractions. Ben said he knew by the sound of things it was probably time to head for the hospital, so he called his mother in-law and started packing up the car.
"By the time I got back from the car, she was on the couch hunched over," Ben said. "The contractions were getting really close.
"We got her into the car at 2:20 and by the time we got to the Maverick station she told me she thought he was starting to come. I said, 'What do you want me to do?' she said, 'I don't know but he's coming.' "
Ben called 911.
"We were hitting the 12th Street exit at about that time and I told the dispatcher, 'I think we're going to have a baby in the car,' " he said. "She could hear Ashley in the background and she told me I needed to pull the car over."
Ben told Weber Area dispatcher Robin Carpenter he wanted to get his wife to the hospital to have the baby, but was told he probably wasn't going to have any other choice but to deliver the baby himself.
"She told me I needed to see what was happening. I was panicking inside like you can't believe," he said. "I went over to Ashley's side of the door and told her I needed to check and see what the baby was doing. We got one leg on the dashboard and the other on the door. I could see the baby's head. It was crowning."
Carpenter told Ben to place his hand behind the baby's head and apply pressure.
"She told me not to stop anything, but just to let it happen," he said. "I was telling Ashley everything the dispatcher was saying but she wasn't hearing anything. She was just pushing.
"With the next contraction the baby's head popped out. I told the dispatcher the baby's head was out. Now what do I do? I tried to stay calm. I didn't know how to get the rest of his body to come out."
With a couple of twists and turns, Hawk Benjamin Marsden entered the world.
"It was the most amazing thing. We didn't have anything to clean out his nose or throat but he let out a little gasp. He was fine and I handed him to Ashley. She went right into mommy mode," Ben said.
Just when Ben thought his part was over, Carpenter told him he needed to tie off the umbilical cord.
"She told me to use my shoelaces, and of course, I was wearing flip flops," he said. "I had to find something fast so I pulled off the elastic band that holds your sunshade together in the car and used that to tie off the cord. When I was finished, I looked up and saw the fire truck. They jumped out and relieved me and I was able to take a breath."
Ashley and the baby were taken to McKay-Dee Hospital by ambulance.
"This was very unexpected," Ashley said. "I actually wasn't due for another week-and-a-half and had been preparing to do this with hypnobirthing."
Ashley had her third child through hypnobirthing, a natural way to give birth by training the mind and body to relax.
"It's very calming, very peaceful. I was practicing every night," she said. "And then I was taken completely off guard. It just knocked me right off my feet and I didn't have time to gather myself. I was just panicking. We're in the car. We're on the freeway and we're not going to make it."
Ashley said she didn't hear a word Ben was telling her. All her brain could process, she said, was getting the baby out.
"I don't think I was clued in on what was happening. It was almost like an out-of-body experience," she said. "I just feel so grateful there weren't any complications. For some reason he had to get here and he had to get here right now."
The couple is back home from the hospital and all is well. Ashley said she's excited to share a birthday with her newest addition.
"It's not the way I expected to celebrate my birthday but it ended up being very special for me," she said. "I think it's pretty neat that we both came into the world unexpectedly like we did. That's a story we'll be able to share and I can't wait to tell him all about it."