This Mother’s Day is special for the Gutierrez family who is thankful for the safe arrival of Keziah Joy on April 22. Born in a surprise delivery at their Scott Township home, Keziah came faster than first responders could get there.
Lauren Gutierrez and her husband Pablo had no idea the birth of their third child would happen so quickly.
“I told my doctor, ‘I don’t think I should wait an hour when I start having contractions because I feel like she could come really fast.’ My friend Arlee went into labor and didn’t make it to the hospital. She and I have the same doctor and I joked with him that I didn’t want what happened to her to happen to me and end up having the baby at home,” Gutierrez said. “I did think it could be fast, but I never imagined that Pablo and I would deliver the baby in our dining room.”
Gutierrez was 40 weeks pregnant when she woke in the middle of the night on April 22.
“I didn’t even feel contractions at first,” she said. “It was so weird, I couldn’t tell if the pressure I was feeling was actual labor. But at 3 a.m. I got out the contraction timer and knew the baby was coming. I told Pablo, ‘We need to go.’”
The couple called Gutierrez’ parents who were 20 minutes away, to watch their two older children. Then they called the doctor’s office and got ready to go to the hospital.
“I walked from the bedroom to the bathroom to get my makeup on and pack my bag when everything started coming really fast, and I knew we weren’t going to make it,” Gutierrez remembered.
Gutierrez called 911 and had just given the dispatcher her address when her water broke. Seconds later, the baby was coming out. Gutierrez’ husband Pablo threw towels on the ground and caught his daughter, Keziah Joy, as she came into the world in their dining room.
“Pablo was right with me,” Gutierrez said. “He stayed calm and he grabbed her. It was a little scary but the lady on the phone said ‘as long as she is crying, she should be OK.’ Pablo put the baby on me, and we kept her warm. The dispatcher was great, and stayed with me on the phone until the ambulance got here.”
Mom and baby were transported safely to the hospital where they were checked out.
“Everything was fine,” Gutierrez said with a smile. Later she realized that the shirt her husband was wearing had the slogan ‘Born Fast’ on it. It was appropriate for the occasion of Keziah’s lightning-fast delivery.
“Pablo was so great through the whole ordeal. He’s not even a person who is super adventurous,” Gutierrez said with a laugh. “But he was great through this and stayed calm when the baby came.
“We were both like, ‘What just happened?’ I didn’t have time to be nervous or scared or anything. It feels like it was a dream.”
The couple met in Argentina while Lauren was studying abroad after high school. In addition to Keziah, they are the parents of Briel, age 7 and Misael, age 4.
The daughter of Frank and Kim Passetti, Lauren Gutierrez grew up in South Abington Township and is a graduate of Summit Christian Academy.
After marrying, the couple lived in Argentina for seven years before relocating to the U.S. They currently work with the Spanish ministry at Steamtown Church in Scranton.
One of the reasons for the Gutierrez’ move from Argentina was to be close to family. This Mother’s Day will be special as they enjoy being together and celebrate the arrival of Keziah.
“You begin to appreciate your mom when you’re far away, and especially when you become a mom yourself,” Gutierrez said. “Just saying goodbye to my mom and leaving her was so hard. Not having her for that long period of time we lived in Argentina was difficult.
“It’s super nice to be back in the area and have her close. She’s literally the most selfless person. She never has an excuse or complaint. She is super positive and always has a great attitude. I never want to take advantage of her, but I’m so thankful for her. She is encouraging and a great example to me. She loves us so selflessly.
“She would do anything for her kids and grandkids.”
Gutierrez credits her mom and her faith for guiding her as she mothers her own three children.
“My kids need to come before me. To be a good mom, I have to put off any selfishness. It’s a huge responsibility to teach them as they develop. It’s not something I take lightly. It’s a blessing for me to be able to be at home with them, but it’s also a scary responsibility.
“I’m the one who’s influencing them, more than anyone else. They see the good and the bad. They see who I really am, truly. I want to honor God in the way I parent. How am I reflecting Jesus in the way that I am talking, acting and the way I treat them? ... These kids are the most important job I will have.”
The Gutierrez family may venture out for dinner, but plans to celebrate Mother’s Day at home, where there is never a dull moment.