Ashley Goette is one strong mama.
One day before she was scheduled to be induced, the 28-year-old Minnesotan and first time mama woke up to find her husband, Andrew, also just 28, experiencing cardiac arrest.
At first, she thought he was snoring, but when Ashley realized Andrew was gasping for air and turning blue she called 911 and performed CPR while waiting for the paramedics.
She'd gone to bed thinking about how she and Andrew would soon be meeting their son, but she woke up to a very different, unthinkable reality. Luckily, she didn't think. She just acted.
"Andrew and I started dating when we were 15 years old, we're 28 now and have spent almost half our lives together. I didn't want to think about having to raise our child without his father, or what my life would look like with Andrew no longer in it," she tells Motherly.
The paramedics rushed the couple to United Hospital in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where doctors—concerned that Andrew could have brain damage—prepared for the worst by cooling his body and putting him into a medically induced coma.
Ashley couldn't imagine going ahead with her planned induction while her husband was in that state. She looked down at the man she'd loved for half her life and told him she was not going to have his baby until he woke up.
"It was clear that Andrew was not going to be able to be present at the birth of our son if I were to go ahead with being induced the next day. So we went through the process of becoming a patient at the Mother Baby Center at Children's Hospital which is attached to United Hospital where Andrew was admitted. This way I wouldn't have to leave his side and we could go ahead and wait until labor started naturally, essentially a way to buy time," she explains.
Doctors began rewarming Andrew to bring him out of his coma on October 17—the original date for Ashley's induction. When the nurse asked Andrew to open his eyes he did. Ashley remembers him sitting up and scanning the room.
"He was fully responsive and had his breathing tube removed within a half hour and was able to remember that we were due to have a baby that day and that his name would be Lennon," she says. Not only did he remember his baby's name, but he knew who everyone in the room was, his dog's name, and the President's name. His family was thrilled.
With dad awake and speaking, Lennon could come into the world. With Ashley's chronic hypertension considered, her OB suggested it was time. At first, Andrew was wheeled into the same room where Ashley labored, in the hopes that he could be there when Lennon came into the world, but when Ashley needed a C-section, that wasn't possible. Instead, Ashley's sister came to the rescue and used Facetime to help dad see his son's birth from his own hospital room.
On Friday, October 19, 2018, three days after his father's cardiac arrest, Lennon Andrew came into the world weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces. He was rushed to his dad, who was the first to hold him and give him skin-to-skin contact.
It was a moment Andrew wanted for so long. He and Ashley tried for years to start a family, and had some heartbreaking experiences before this pregnancy. Holding Lennon was an amazing gift, one that Andrew almost didn't live to receive.
The doctors credit Ashley with saving Andrew's life, and believe that if she hadn't been there to do CPR and call 911, Andrew likely wouldn't have met Lennon.
Thankfully, dad's prognosis is very good, now that doctors know what happened. He's been diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson White syndrome, a condition that causes a rapid heartbeat. That, combined with a heart arrhythmia caused the arrest, but now that Andrew is being treated his health outlook looks fantastic, according to his doctor.
Her husband is still recovering, but Ashley is just grateful that he is by her side and in Lennon's life. She has her husband, she has her baby, and she has the knowledge that she is one strong mama who can make it through anything.