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Lake Arrowhead Woman Gives Birth Without Medical Help During Storm


Stephanie Gilles and her husband David planned on having a home birth, but expected their midwives to be there with them.

The Gilles’ were all set up for their home birth last Wednesday at their house in Lake Arrowhead but their baby girl wasn’t due for another week — their midwives were down the snow-covered mountain in Highland.

Then Stephanie’s water broke. After the late February storms, the roads to Lake Arrowhead were closed and a harrowing five-hour journey for everyone involved began.

“We called them around 2:15 told them my water had broke and my contractions were starting once that was confirmed they said we are going to head up to you,” Stephanie said.

“The whole road going up the mountain was completely blocked,” Lisa Marie Oxenham, a midwife, said. 

“That’s when things started to get a little stressful for me wondering all the possibility what could happen,” Stephanie said. 

“With the roadblock, go ahead, snow plows, trying to clear the road in front of us,” Richard Oxenhem, a midwife student, said. 

“We are still getting updates. The contractions are close. Probably baby is going to be there before I get there,” Lisa Marie said. 

The midwives ended up getting stuck in the snow and had to walk twenty minutes to the Gilles’s home. The midwives got to the home nearly five hours after Stephanie’s water broke and minutes after the baby arrived.

Thankfully everything went smoothly for mom and dad.

Baby Audrey was born healthy at 6 lbs 4 ounces.

Both mom and baby are doing great.


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