We all remember Bonnie Barry, the Duck Key resident who had “Islamorada Beer Baby” Sawyer in front of the Islamorada Beer Company back in July. Turns out, for Sawyer’s family, lightning and roadside luck have struck twice.
Partner Jessica Bogle, who helped deliver Barry’s baby on the side of the road at 11 p.m. on July 24 en route to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, delivered her own healthy baby, Amber-Jackalyn Elizabeth Anderson, in the passenger seat of the family’s mini-van on Oct. 7, 10 minutes before reaching Jackson Memorial.
The moms had traded places, with Bogle pregnant and Barry at the wheel, trying to make it to the hospital. “I was determined to make it to Jackson, after Sawyer,” says Bogle. “We weren’t gonna stop. That’s why I fed the kids and I kept telling Bonnie we aren’t stopping.”
Barry interjects, saying, “I was an anxiety-ridden mess at work. So, I came home ready to get her to the hospital and here she is calmly cooking dinner and feeding the other kids.” Barry and dad Stephen Anderson, who completes the unique blended family, forced Bogle out of the house, hoping not to have a repeat adventurous birth.
“We left the house at 6:05 p.m. I was timing everything, seeing when we left, how many minutes we had left,” says Barry. “I didn’t think we’d make it, so I kept watching for where I can deliver this baby, seeing how far along she was.”
The only time Barry thought they might make it to Jackson was when they passed Islamorada Beer Company in a record 20 minutes and she reflected on her own crazy birth story. Indicating to Barry, Bogle said, “She actually joked with me, ‘Do you want to stop here?’ as we passed the brewery. ‘We know it works!’” With a mischievous smile, Barry adds, “She definitely yelled back ‘NO!’ and told me to shut up and keep going.”
The rest of the family was in the back seat – dad Anderson, and siblings Caylee and Jaelyn, both 10, and Brycen, 5. As if that wasn’t enough chaos for the ride up, Barry remembered that Sawyer needed to eat and was simultaneously driving, checking on the progression of Bogle’s contractions, and pumping milk for Sawyer.
As they neared Miami, Bogle’s contractions worsened. “I kept saying I want to keep her in,” she recalls. But Barry had a sense that wasn’t going to happen. She says, “I knew, because I had tried to cross my legs too. I knew the massive pain on her face and knew where she was at. There was no way to keep that baby in.”
Barry adds, “So I told her, ‘If you think you need to push, push.’” Before anyone realized what was happening, Bogle’s water broke, she pushed, and baby Amber-Jackalyn was born. “I remember the feeling,” says Bogle, “I totally felt her coming down and the urge to push, and pushing, and here she came, through my shorts hole. They didn’t cut them off until we got to the hospital to get the placenta out.”
Recounting the climax of this latest family adventure, an incredulous Bogle says, “I don’t think our kids know that you really have babies in the hospital.” Barry responds, “No, they definitely don’t. Brycen just told his teacher, ‘Yeah, we had the baby, in the car,’ like that was normal. It wasn’t once-in-a-lifetime; now, it’s twice-in-a-lifetime.”
Barry continues. “I really can’t believe we had two on the side of the road,” she says. Bogle adds, “In the same year.” Barry finishes, “And in the same family.” She smiles. “It’s just who we are. Life is crazy and it’s fun. Only in the Keys.”