When I found out I was pregnant my first thought was to call Jes on Skype and ask her if she would be my midwife. At that time she was living overseas finishing up her schooling to become an official midwife and like I said she was the first person I thought of. When she came back stateside we had her over immediately and I remember hearing the baby's heartbeat for the first time and looking at my husband and just getting so excited.  Not only to be expecting a child but to also be in the hands of someone Who we knew was going to make this a great experience for us. 

We chose to deliver at home and went through all of the normal check ups and questions and emergency plans and blah blah blah.  Anytime I had a question for her I knew I could call her day or night and she would make time for me. I remember my schedule at the time was quite busy and there were a number of visits that I had her come over at like eight or 9 o'clock at night and it was never a problem, I could always count on her.

When it came time for my contractions to start I called Jes and she walked me through what I needed to do at like three in the morning and we waited until the contractions were closer together before she came over.  As we waited the contractions started getting closer together and more intense and she was right there with us the whole time helping me into more comfortable positions, helping with ice when needed, massaging my back, hair anywhere I needed. When the contractions were getting very intense but I wasn't dilating we made the choice together to break my water because my family history has proven that our water does not break on its own. Once the water was broken there was a problem - she found thick meconium in the water and informed me that we needed to go to the hospital. I had sworn up-and-down that I would not request to go to the hospital no matter how bad it got but she very kindly told me that that we did not have an option at this point that we did need to go to the hospital to make sure the baby was OK. She had also called Michelle to consult before we moved on to anything drastic. We wound up going to a facility that was "not midwife friendly."  But Jes never left my side.

The difference between having the first 19 hours at home and the latter 14 hours at the hospital was night and day in a bad way.  everything went down hill.  I was not comfortable, no one would talk to me, nobody would answer my questions.  The hospital staff almost discharged us for not following the doctor's orders. When I finally got a straight answer from the doctor we went ahead with the Pitocin and continued to go through the process.  Again Jes never left my side.  She was my center and when it came time to push the baby out finally… I remember I couldn't figure out how to push yet because this was my first child and so they had me coughing so I could feel the muscles and then trying to push him out.  I remember on that last push, I was like “wait I didn't quite get it” and Jes looked me straight in the eyes right at my face and she's like NOW, and there was no questioning what that meant so that was the last push.  

The baby came out.  My son was blue and not responding.  His Apgars were 1, 2 and 4.  they immediately grabbed him from me and started resuscitating him. I would like to reiterate again, Jes never left my side she calmed me, comforted me, talked to me exactly how she knew I needed it and after those 33 hours, later she told me that she went back to her car and just bawled.  However during the process she was a rock for me and my family.  In part, thanks to her I have a 6 1/2-year-old boy who is 4' 2", smarter than any kid in his class, reading on a fourth or above grade level, a kind, sweet, loving, feisty, beautiful child.  

As I recall the details of my experience having my first child I am brought to tears at how grateful I am to be able to call on Jes to be by my side to help me with her knowledge, her love, her warmth, her kindness and had she not been out of the country for my second child birth I would've had her there in a heartbeat.

~Cassie