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Put-in-Bay Baby Born To Two Young Islanders

Kira Hubner and Dustin Heineman,. June 1st, 2013, is a day they will never forget. It was the day their son, a 6th generation islander, was born on South Bass Island. This is the first time in 34 years a Put-in-Bay Baby was born on The Rock.

The couple knew before the birth the baby was a boy. A name had been chosen, Eli Edward Hayes Heineman. They also had plans to have a home birth on the island with the aid of two midwives, two of about two dozen in the state.

With anticipation running high as the Put-in-Bay Baby approached, friends and relatives wondered why the new baby was

taking so long to appear. It was no surprise when mother Kira awoke after 3 a.m. in labor. She called Dustin at work, where he can always be found working late, either at Heineman Winery or The Shirt Shack. On this night to remember, he printed T-shirts and talked with Alexa Kirsch at The Shack. He immediately rushed home, and shortly later, the two midwives, Tricia Spears from Greenwich, thirty minutes south of Norwalk, and Mary Franks from Tiffin, were called.

As the midwives drove from their homes to the ferry dock, there were numerous and frantic cellphone calls back and forth between Dustin and other islanders who might be able to help get them over to the island before the 6:30 a.m. Miller Ferry. Arrangements had been made to transport them to the island if Kira went into labor at night, but several people were unavailable.

Todd Blumensaadt from the Jet Express didn’t have his boat in the water yet, but Jen, his wife, suggested Dustin call Jake Dunfee at Rescue Marine on the mainland. Fortunately, Jake Dunfee expects calls at all hours and, within minutes, was dressed and on his way down to Shrock’s Marina, where his fast boat is always ready to go. By the time he got to the Catawba Dock, the midwives had arrived and were ready to head across the lake.

Midwives Arrive for Baby Heinnman

In less than half an hour from the time Dustin called him, Jake, Tricia, and Mary were speeding away toward the Lime Kiln Dock on
South Bass Island. They left the dock at 6 a.m., and Jake could see a front coming from the west. During the short trip over, the lake
began to chop, and by the time they arrived at the Lime Kiln at about 6:15, they were wet from the rough trip over on the small, open boat.

Remember, Mary and Tricia, are more comfortable delivering Amish babies, and neither had ever taken a boat to any of their hundreds of deliveries. At the ranch, Kira’s two daughters were awake to see what was happening. Kira’s mother, Paula, and neighbor Jessie Greene-Hill were there to help and take pictures of the blessed event. Kira’s contractions were getting closer and closer, and she had gone into the bathroom. Things were happening fast, and the midwives weren’t there yet, so Dustin was preparing himself to deliver baby Eli.

The midwives were rushed to the Hubner-Heineman home less than a mile from the dock by Billy Market. Kira’s father, Ed, was at the door waving the two into the house, where they found Kira on the bathroom floor, unable to get up. They immediately went to work, realizing the baby was “en caul,” a condition where the infant is born inside the amniotic sac.

The sac balloons out at birth, with the amniotic fluid and the child remaining inside the unbroken or partially broken membrane. Fortunately, Mary and Tricia arrived just in time to handle the situation and perform the delivery less than fifteen minutes after their arrival on the island. Eli was born healthy and well, picking the perfect time when everything and everyone was ready for him.Put-in-Bay Baby Picture

Right after Put-in-Bay baby Eli’s birth, Jake Market texted Dustin a picture of a beautiful double rainbow across the island. Many islanders witnessed this as pictures began popping up on Facebook. Little Eli was having a busy birthday morning.

He was weighed (9 lb., four oz.) and footprinted; birth documentation was also completed. He then posed for his first newspaper photo for the Put-in-Bay Gazette with his handlers, Mary and Tricia, at 9:30 a.m. Oh! Just in case you are wondering about the significance of the rainbow photo, it’s because Kira is obsessed with rainbows.


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