Melissa Iverson, pregnant with her fourth child, had a dream that someone punched her in the stomach.
Then she woke up at 6 a.m. on July 10 in severe pain with contractions already three minutes apart. It was a month before her due date, and the Iversons weren’t quite ready.
She and her husband, Shane Iverson, hurried to find someone to babysit their three young boys — ages 2, 4 and 6.
Iverson’s water broke before they left at 8 a.m. for Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, a one-hour drive from their home.
They almost made it.
But Iverson said her body was pushing automatically, and she knew the baby was coming.
“One good push and she came right out,” Melissa said.
Shane said they were on state Route 510, and he pulled over immediately to call for help. He was filled with disbelief, excitement and shock.
“She was telling me the baby’s coming, and I kept saying we were only five miles away and not to worry. But she gave out a push and said the baby was here,” he said. “I just looked at her in shock, and she pulled the baby right out. I was just like ‘oh my god are you serious?’”
Melissa wrapped the baby in the the Captain America sweatpants she’d been wearing and cuddled her with skin to skin contact for about 10 minutes until dispatch arrived.
“I call her my little super hero baby,” Melissa said.
“She looked totally normal, and she was breathing and seemed okay. It was just insane,” Shane said.
Melissa has always wanted a girl, but was not expecting her to make such an entrance.
Everleigh Anne Iverson, now three weeks old, was born exactly one month before her Aug. 10 due date. She weighed 6 pounds and 10 ounces and measured 20.5 inches long.
The delivery didn’t cause any complications, but Everleigh spent 13 days in the Special Care Nursery while her lungs continued to develop and she learned to breathe and eat on her own.
“Having to leave my daughter there hooked up to machines with other people holding her and feeding her was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever been through,” Melissa said.
Mom and baby are both fine, and there’s no explanation for why she was early.
“I think she was just ready to come out and show everyone what a badass she is. She’s got to be tough, with three older brothers,” Melissa said.
The family also has three cats, two dogs and a 13-year-old daughter at home.
“There’s never a dull moment at our house,” Melissa said. “And getting everyone acclimated to having a new person in the house is crazy.”
Since Everleigh was early, the family was not fully prepared, and the hospital bill is higher than anticipated. Melissa also had to rent a medical grade breast pump.
Melissa and Shane had to take turns at the hospital and spending time at home with the boys, so Shane missed two or three weeks of work.
To help with the costs and balancing act of having a new baby, Melissa’s friend of 20 years, Jennifer Mercille, has set up a GoFundMe page.
“I’m really happy for them. It’s the best possible outcome out of a situation that could have been really dangerous and scary,” Mercille said. “I can’t imagine going through that in a moving vehicle without anyone around to help you. I’m a little awestruck.”
“Having the baby here on the spot while we’re driving down the road was the most insane thing I think I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Shane said.
“We are grateful and blessed. I’m just happy that everything is going smoothly. To all the doctors and nurses, family and friends and everyone that helped out — I’m just so grateful.”
Mercille wrote on the GoFundMe page: “I have known the Iversons for many years. They are a wonderful, loving family, who never hesitates to help others. Right now they are under an intense amount of stress and are trying to make it all work. Any donation, no matter how small, will help them focus less on money and more on their family miracle. Thank you for your help.”
Now, when Melissa talks about her family, she says, “I feel like we’re complete.”
The GoFundMe page is gofundme.com/everleighiverson.