I am so excited to be able to share this birth story with you. Tavin is Jesi’s second child and he came into this world in a way that Jesi did not expect. I will let Jesi introduce herself and tell her story.
Hi, I’m Jesi Dewey. I currently live in Lawrenceville, GA. However, soon my family and I are moving to Utah.
I like to say that I’m a jack of all trades. I got my bachelor’s degrees in Interior Design and Sales and Marketing, with a minor in Photography. I enjoy all these areas. Since living in Georgia, I became a group fitness instructor – strength, barre, yoga, pilates, zumba, personal trainer, and nutrition specialists. I love them all. And it’s a good thing I’m active, because I also thoroughly enjoy cooking and baking. Cupcakes and sugar cookies are my specialty. I am a BIG crafter and have turned one of my favorite crafts of sewing into a business. I hand craft boot-style stockings. It is my family’s tradition that was started by my aunt in the 70’s, and now I’m passing it along to others.
I am passionate about many things; however, if I need to choose a top priority, it would be helping others. In starting my company, I have found it to be a way for me to bless others’ lives. I haven’t figured out the exact “how”, but I want to save the world. As a child I would imagine dropping bags of food (and happy meals) to hungry children in Africa. I would like to create financing to give micro-loans for startup companies in third-world countries. I would also like to fund and educate orphans so they can create their own future and see their own value and worth. “Give a man a fish, he’s fed for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he can eat for a lifetime.”
My unplanned home birth:
I was pregnant with my 2nd son. It had been a rough pregnancy – I was sick the entire 9 months; I had gotten the flu twice, and food poisoning once. Our AC unit had gone out in July during my 9th month of pregnancy, and don’t get me started about the chigger bites that covered my feet and ankles (which I couldn’t reach to scratch because my belly was in the way).
When I was younger, I remember watching a 20/20 episode where it showed women getting paralyzed from epidurals during childbirth. I made the decision after watching, what for me was a traumatizing show, that I would either A. never have children, or B. never get an epidural. So, when I found out I was pregnant the first time, I went to the highly suggested practice that supports unmedicated births. Even after the 14 hours of labor from my first pregnancy, I did it. So I thought, “okay, I can do this.”
When I got pregnant with my second son, I went to the OB hoping for the same support. I was presented with scoffs and I was told, “every woman thinks they can give birth unmedicated.” Being that I am a bit stubborn and tend to do what people say I can’t do, I was even more motivated to have an unmedicated birth just to show this lady that she was wrong.
The day of labor started out normal – I dropped off my 4-year-old son, Greyson, at preschool, went to the gym, and got a pedicure. I hate the thought of a Doctor seeing my toes unpainted, even though we all know that they could care less. That day was also the day my husband’s medical board score was released, and we were anxious for the results. After picking up my son from school, we ran some errands, and were in the backyard playing. It was just a regular day, nothing too exciting.
It was about 5 pm. My husband came home from his rotation and was heartbroken. He had failed his board exam. There was this overwhelming feeling of disappointment. All I could do was hug him. It was this long hug when all the sudden there was this pain in my stomach that matched the pain in my heart. I become breathless and had to bend over to even breathe. I caught my breathe and sent my husband outside to play with our son to distract his mind and try to get him to smile. I’d make dinner. “Contractions happen often this late in pregnancy, nothing to be alarmed about.”
I had to call my best friend and talk to her about the test results. When disappointment has happened that involved my husband and medical school, I felt that I had to be a source of strength to him and not let him see the crying that was happening inside of me. I didn’t want him to feel worse from my crying on top of his already feeling low. My friend has been that strength for me with empathy and encouragement.
I continued making German Pancakes for dinner and talked to her on the phone, having to pause about every 8-10 minutes to catch my breath from the pain. She told me, “You’re having this baby tonight. Call me after, no matter the hour.”
During dinner, the pains continued and began to worsen. However, they were 6-8 minutes apart. I noticed my mood shifting, and I became crabby. Eating dinner while sitting across the table from a 4-year old that is eating with their mouth open was insufferable! It took everything I had not to yell at him for the way he was eating. “Okay, so I think I’m really in labor.”
I called another friend who conveniently lives two streets over – “Thunder cats HO!” by 6pm. Her husband came to pick up Greyson for the night, and she was preparing to be my birth coach. Our game plan was to labor as long as possible at home, then once the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, head to the hospital. My friend’s job was to keep the nurses away, be my advocate for unmedicated birth, and coach me through transition. I told her I’d call her when contractions had dropped in time. I had read and practiced Hypno-birthing, and was going to have a calm, peaceful birth.
I turned on my cello music playlist, had my husband put the hospital and nurse gifts in the car, and OUCH!!! Another contraction. “Thomas get over here NOW!” The nice thing about having a husband in Osteopathic medical school is that the students learn manipulations to help the body. Chiropractics stem from this realm of medicine, so he had learned how to properly do pelvic compressions to relieve pressure during contraction…a huge help! However, the most he had learned of OB/GYN was two weeks of book work, not yet an expert in this area of medicine.
Contractions continued to be 6 minutes apart, though worsening in strength and lasting longer and longer! They were over a minute long, having two peaks during each contraction. I tried every technique I could remember from Hypno-birthing, but nothing was working. This was the worst, most horrific pain I had ever been in. Sweat was dripping down me. I had blacked out twice during contractions from the pain. At times, I was sure I was going to vomit. But I was determined to have this baby unmedicated.
The beautiful option of laboring at home was the freedom I wanted. I was able to be in my tank top and underwear. The freedom of freely walking between the bathroom and going back to the sofa as needed. Going to any position I wanted to try to find relief from the pain and pressure.
The pain got to the point that I couldn’t handle any noise. The music had to be turned off and I needed absolute silence from my spouse.
The contractions stayed at 6 minutes. Mentally, I was becoming defeated. If the pain was this horrific at 6 minutes apart, how could I continue? I had my arm draped over the armrest of the sofa, kneeling on the ground. The last contraction had finally ended.
Exhausted, I lifted my head and told Thomas, “please take me to the hospital, I can’t do this anymore.”
Being the encouraging man that he is, he loving said, “you can do this honey. Keep going.”
I was not joking. I told him to get in the car and take me to the hospital now. I was getting an epidural.
Once again lovingly, he said, “okay, but you can’t show up in your underwear. I’ll go get you some shorts.”
I got up and walked to the hallway. On one side of the hallway is the door that goes to the garage, on the other side, the door to the bathroom. I was waiting in the middle. According to the timer, I still had three minutes until the next contraction. My phone pinged with a text from my friend saying she was ready to help and tell her when to come over. Right then, there was a shift and sudden drop. I screamed out to Thomas, who rushed down the stairs in time to catch me as my legs gave out. I dropped my phone on the ground, and water came down my legs. The sensation was much like wetting my pants. There was something that had triggered in my mind and body. I again, looked at Thomas and said, “can I just have this baby here?”
Miserable, exhausted, a bit embarrassed, and now wet, I walked into the bathroom. Straddling the toilet, three minutes later, and another crippling contraction. My arms had wrapped around Thomas’s neck. He had scooped me under my armpits to hold me up because my legs could not hold me.
I stood up to try to text my friend back, and within seconds had another contraction.
I remember gripping Thomas’s arm, head down, and feeling like I needed to push.
I told him “the baby’s coming.” He replied, “no he’s not.”
He looked down to check me, and blurts out, “oh my gosh that’s his head!”
He put out his arm, I felt this huge sudden urge to “use the bathroom,” I’m assuming that’s also the same urge as pushing. And so, I followed my body’s cues.
Standing over the toilet, in one agonizing, painful contraction, my lady parts feeling like they were on fire, pain shooting down my legs, I let out, for the first time, a scream of pain.
At about 8pm, my husband caught Tavin, my second son. Weak and tired, I gently sat down on the toilet (huge pro for catching blood and fluids since I was able to just flush it down). My immediate reaction was to bring Tavin to my chest. Thankful for my husband’s calm demeanor and ability to react quickly, he cleared my son’s airway from the fluid and got him breathing. I wrapped my son in a clean hand towel that I had on a shelf over the toilet. My husband lowered us to the floor in a more comfortable position. Nervous and jittery about what to do next, I had my husband call an ambulance as he got the supplies to tie and cut the umbilical cord.
The ambulance transported Tavin and me to the hospital. They pulled up to the ER door and were told to go the labor and delivery door. They drove to the other side of the hospital to the labor and delivery doors just to be told that they couldn’t unload us there because I already had the baby. Third door worked, and I was admitted to the hospital. I then delivered the placenta, and Tavin’s birth was recorded for medical records.
I am so grateful for Jesi’s willingness to share her and Tavin’s story. I hope Jesi’s story has helped you in some way.