Jess found out she was pregnant with her first child in January 2019. After an initial ectopic pregnancy scare she had an easy and straightforward pregnancy. Jess didn’t experience any negative pregnancy symptoms and loved being pregnant. She stayed active her entire pregnancy working as a nanny and caring for seven children, long-lining her horse, cleaning stalls, and taking yoga classes. She chose to see midwives and planned a birth center birth. She loved the individualized care that comes with choosing midwifery and especially the extensive postpartum care her midwives offered.
As her due date came and went Jess did everything she could to encourage labor. She started experiencing prodromal labor at 40+3 that continued until she went into labor after taking castor oil at 42 weeks the day before her scheduled induction. Her water broke on the way to a scheduled appointment with her midwife and upon arrival she was 3cm dilated and 85% effaced. After laboring all day without progress they made the decision to transfer to a hospital.
The hospital experience was positive for Jess and she was still able to have many of the experiences she hoped for when choosing a birth center birth. After a 36 hour labor and 6 hours of pushing Jess delivered her baby girl with vacuum assistance and discovered she had a nuchal hand that was the cause of the weird labor patterns and difficulty pushing. Her daughter Ailey was born September 27th (42+1) weighing 9lbs 6oz. Jess had a relatively easy postpartum experience despite needing to have stitches redone at one week postpartum.
Almost exactly two years later Jess found out she was pregnant again and was due just 4 days before her daughter’s due date. She had another enjoyable pregnancy but was less active this time around due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She chose to have care with the same midwife group and planned to have a birth center birth. This time she expected to go post dates and told anyone who asked that the baby was due by September 23rd (42+1). She was not surprised when her due date came and went with no sign of labor.
After a sweep at 41+6 Jess began to have consistent contractions at 10:05 PM. An hour later she checked in with her midwife and was instructed to call back when contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute for an hour. When contractions reached this point around midnight Jess called back and during that call began to shake uncontrollably and had 3 contractions on top of each other. Jess and her husband jumped in the car and headed to the birth center and their midwife left her home to meet them there. Once in the car Jess’ contractions slowed down and she actually enjoyed laboring in the car.
At 12:24am her midwife called to check in and they were both about 25 minutes from the birth center. After hanging up Jess had another contraction, felt her water break, and immediately felt the baby drop into the birth canal. At 12:33am they were pulled over on the side of the road and calling 911 as the fetal ejection reflex kicked in. A firefighter escorted them to a fire station a mile up the road (exactly halfway to the birth center) where Jess delivered her son in the parking lot in the front seat of their car with the help of firefighters and EMTs. Sean was born at 1:05AM on September 22nd (42w) exactly 3 hours after labor had started.
He was a very calm baby and didn’t cry at all but was perfectly healthy. After delivering the placenta they were taken to the hospital where they learned Sean weighed 9lbs 8oz. They were discharged to the care of their midwives and were settled at home by 4pm that day, less than 24 hours after labor had started. Jess loved both of her births and felt positive and empowered despite having two births that didn’t go to plan!
Jess Maki Bio
Jess lives in a small town in central Massachusetts with her husband Pat and their two children Ailey and Sean. She found her calling in early childcare and has worked as a nanny for the past six years. Jess finds the most joy working with infants and toddlers. She is passionate about respectful childcare and loves to share this passion with the families she works with. She would love to connect through Instagram @jessmaki or by email email@example.com
This episode is sponsored by Kindred Bravely. Use code BIRTHHOUR15 for 15% off your first purchase at kindredbravely.com