An Ione couple, who were expecting a baby girl in a little less than a month, received a surprise of a lifetime on October 19, which taught them to always expect the unexpected. 

It was still 25 days until her due date. Parents Mariah Cunningham and Chris Villa spent their morning at a pregnancy non-stress test appointment at Sutter Amador Hospital in Jackson, before heading back to their home in Ione. 

Mariah decided she was going to take a much-needed bath, as she began to get some cramping in her stomach. She didn’t think much of it; maybe it was just her body getting Braxton Hick contractions to prepare her for labor. 

“After taking a bath, I laid down and got up about five times before I realized I had to go pee. When I sat down, all of a sudden my water broke,” she explained. “I called out for Chris and I could feel her head coming out and as I stood up, she came all of the way out and Chris caught her in a towel and held her as we hobbled to the bathtub.”

They called emergency services right away, and Ione Police Department and EMT’s responded to the home within a few minutes of the call, as Mariah and Chris sat in the bathroom waiting, with the baby attached to Mariah through the umbilical cord. 

After emergency services arrived, the EMT’s cut the umbilical cord and got Mariah into an ambulance to be taken to the hospital, where Mariah began to breast feed their new baby girl immediately. Chris followed closely behind in his own vehicle.

Baby Ava Renee Villa was born on October 19, 2019 at 2:54 p.m. at the home of parents Mariah Cunningham and Chris Villa in Ione, CA. 

“Some advice I would give to other mothers would be to have your cervix checked if the doctor asks you,” she laughed. “Because they offered to check my cervix dilation and I declined because I thought I couldn’t possibly be dilated yet, and here she is!” 

“Chris and I would really like to thank the Ione Dispatcher, Police Department and EMT’s for how quickly they got to us and helping us through it,” she said. “This experience as parents taught us to always expect the unexpected.”