Jesse, Maya, and me...we were our own team with Jeri and our nurses by our side constantly. I will never forget the look in his eyes when he saw Maya's head pop out and when he helped guide her out.
He was so proud, amazed, and it was look of pure joy.
It was a special kind of joy.
Then he looked at me for a few seconds, with that same joy, and we didn't say much to each other during those last moments, but we spoke through our eyes and our hearts.
I saw Jeri two days before Jesse died and she reminded me again to talk to Jesse about possibly co-authoring a book about pregnancy and childbirth. She was shocked when I called her a few days later to give her the news. Although she couldn't be present during his memorial service because she was busy guiding another baby into this world, she wrote me this wonderful passage, which was read, tearfully, by Jesse's aunt Ann.
I think about my pregnancy and the birthing of Maya often and I continue to miss his presence in my life immensely.
I love you Jesse and I miss you every single day.
I was honored to assist Priya and Jesse as their nurse midwife for the birth of Maya. It was a beautiful and inspiring birth particularly because of how hard they both worked at being a team. I will always recall clearly how gifted Jesse was in his role as father and husband to Priya on this special day. Jesse had an instinct for how to touch Priya, how to calm her with his voice and with his powerful presence. His love, support and wisdom reminded me so much of the skills of a midwife. It was his hands, his eyes and his voice that spoke to her and calmed her and comforted her so much. I had never seen a father who acted as spontaneously as Jesse. At one point just before Maya arrived I realized I was watching a man with so much talent and love and heart that the best thing I could offer to both of them was to support and respect the intense connection they had with each other and with Maya. I was so amazed! After Maya was born Jesse and I talked about how we would write a book together to guide other fathers through their own experience of birth. I let him know that he stood out to me as a loving, strong and kind father and how much he could give to others who hoped to possibly be able to do the same. He will forever be in my heart as an incredible man who really understood himself and was fearless in giving that back to others.
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