Vernemans get a surprise visitor


UNION CITY, Ind. — Bobbi and Trae Verneman will surely never forget the coronavirus pandemic. They became parents for the first time…after 19 years of marriage on Tuesday.

She didn’t even know she was pregnant, or could even get pregnant, until that day in the emergency room at Wayne HealthCare in Greenville.

“I have been asked several times ‘How could you not know you were pregnant?,” she said. “Let me explain and start from the beginning. Not long after Trae and I married almost 19 years ago we went through fertility and were told neither one of us could have a baby. Back in 2014, I had a uterine ablation done due to female issues, which means no fetus. In 2015, I lost 80 percent of my pancreas, making me a Type I diabetic. Also, I got gastrioperrious, which means my stomach was basically paralyzed. I had surgery in October of 2019 which fixed my issue for the most part. I was told I would be able to digest food properly and be able to feel it with gas as well.

Since she has never been pregnant, she thought the recent movements in her belly was her digesting food/passing gas.

Bobbi said she and her husband are “over the moon” with their new sweet bundle of joy.

“He is exactly what we have always wanted,” said the new mother, who was dismissed from the hospital on Thursday. “As of right now, Baby Ethan is doing very good breathing on his own and heart and vitals are all good. He does have bruising from delivery and they are keeping him under the lights to prevent jaundis. He is at Children’s hospital receiving treatment. Please keep our miracle baby in your thoughts and prayers! God gave Ethan to us for a reason! I don’t know why. But, he is the best gift we could ever have received.”

The 37-year-old mother said she had gone to her family doctor the previous Friday due to swelling in her feet.

“Being pregnant never was on the radar due to my past medical history,” she said.

She said medical personnel from Children’s Hospital came to Greenville and waited for the delivery of her child so they could take it to Dayton.

Bobbi, herself, had an emergency C-section. at 7:55 a.m.

They named their baby Ethan Jackson, who weighed 3 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 16 1/4 inches long.

Her 42-year-old husband Trae, who is a production supervisor at MSSL in Portland, Ind., was supportive of her the whole time.

“This was all shocking and unexpected,” she said. “Trae stayed calm for our baby and me. He had the emotional support of our family and friends through text and phone conversations.”

Things could have been different for the family.

“When I first met the OBGYN doctor, he said there was a high risk that the baby could be stillborn,” she said. “Or, he was almost certain that after delivering the baby via c-section. that he would have to do a complete hysterectomy on me. “Fortunately, this was not the case. I believe God was watching over our son as the doctor said the umbilical cord was wrapped around Ethan’s neck three times and there were two knots in the cord.”

She remembered that after she woke up at 4 a.m. that morning and used the restroom that something did not feel right. She yelled for her husband to call her mother, Sue Stewart.

“My Mom came to my house and I explained the pressure I felt…that something was coming out of me,” she said. “My mom and my husband called the ambulance down. Union City, Ind., Fire Department responded quickly, checked me out and got me to the emergency room very quickly. The medics were very reassuring and comforting to me.”

Bobbi said she works for Clopay Corp.

“Clopay truly cares about their employees,” she said. “They have provided me with the tools to keep working in the comfort and safety of my home during this period.”

One thing facing them now is that there is no wardrobe for their newborn.

“We currently have nothing for a baby, but I have had some people who have reached out that are going to donate items to us in which we are very grateful for and appreciate everything,” she said. “The last thing I want to do is be out shopping in the store and risk getting our new baby sick.”

Bobbi, who is intent on going and being with her baby in Dayton, said there is another son in the picture.

“His name is Justin,” she said. “Trae and I got Justin when he was 4 years old. He is currently 17 and he is super excited to be a big brother. When we got Justin, that was another gift from God. Back then, Trae and I were going through fertility treatments and had just been told we couldn’t have children. So, by the grace of God, he put Justin with us. Justin needed two loving parents. But, the truth is, we needed him 1000 percent more.”

Ethan has other family members. His maternal grandparents are Chuck and Sue Stewart of Union City, Ind.; maternal great-grandmother, Alice Setser of Somerset, Ky.; and paternal grandparents, Delmer and Sorona Verneman of Union City, Ind., and Rick and Roxanne Rehmert of Greenville.

“Having our baby Ethan has been shocking and life-changing,” Bobbi said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled and excited to have him be a part of our family. We welcome change. Our baby is worth everything and already means so much to us, our family and friends. With having him through this pandemic, we plan on keeping him home and not taking him out in public as much as we can avoid. We plan on screening any visitors to make sure they aren’t sick or haven’t been around anyone sick.”

She concluded, “We would like to give special thanks to Union City, Ind., Fire Department with a special thanks to Tim Puccini for the care he gave in the ambulance on the way to the hospital; all of the nurses, doctors and staff at Wayne HealthCare; and a special thanks to Phyllis in housekeeping for listening to me while you were working. You really made my day! Also all of the NICU staff at Children’s for caring for our baby.”

By Linda Moody

Contact Darke County Media Staff Writer Linda Moody at [email protected] or 937-569-4315, ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at

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