In the United States, 1 in 6 couples struggle to conceive. After a miscarriage and struggles to get pregnant again, we, Jessi and Wil, decided to seek out the help of a fertility clinic. We were thrilled to partner with Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine (FIRM). Working with FIRM was a wonderful experience for us. After two surgeries, countless medications, and two rounds of In-Utero Insemination (IUI), we found out we were expecting little Violet. During this process, we discovered 33% of fertility struggles are related to female reproductive issues, 33% of fertility struggles are related to male reproductive issues, and 33% of fertility struggles are unknown. Hearing the words, "We don't know why you can't conceive." can be heartbreaking. So many couples have to hear these words, including ourselves. With the support of our family and friends, we bravely entered into our journey with FIRM. Through our faith, prayer, and lots of patience, we took things one step at a time and were thrilled to see that positive test in July 2019.
Birth During Covid-19
In March of 2020, Covid-19 had begun to run rampant in the United States. It was clear things were very serious and by mid-march a state-wide "stay at home" order was put in place for the state of Florida, where we live. I, Jessi, was due on April 5. On March 16, Wil and I began working from home and self-quarantining along with the rest of the state. Wil works from home anyway but he usually went into the office, located in Daytona, one day a week. The week before he had stopped going into the office as I was nearing my due date. On March 22, after 6 days of quarantining, my water broke around 10:45AM. Off to the hospital we went. Because things had just started to get very strict at the hospital, only Wil was permitted to go with me and we were not allowed any visitors. Labor and Delivery was the only floor of the hospital where patients were permitted one guest and it had to be the father or other parent of the baby. We were crushed. I had wanted my mom in the room with me when Violet was born, especially since this was her very first grandchild. The doctors and nurses at Baptist Medical Center in downtown Jacksonville were wonderful. Many safety precautions were taken, everyone was careful, and we were very well taken care of. After 37 hours of labor it was clear I was not progressing so I had a caesarian section and Violet was brought into the world at 1:16AM on Tuesday, March 24.
But our Covid-19 birth story does not end there. After 5 days in the hospital we begged our doctors to send us home. Despite the fact that I was still having on again, off again, blood pressure spikes, we were sent home with very strict instructions about monitoring my blood pressure. Two days after coming home I was readmitted to the hospital with complications from preeclampsia. My blood pressure was dangerously high and I had fluid on my lungs. Unfortunately, fluid on the lungs was also a symptom of Covid-19. Because of this the hospital could not take any risks. I was tested for Covid and placed on a floor in the hospital with other patients experiencing symptoms and waiting for test results. I had no symptoms and was treated with medication for preeclampsia. Very quickly, it was clear I was suffering from preeclampsia and not Covid-19. The medication I received worked immediately and I was sent home the next day feeling a million times better. Two days after coming home I was officially given a negative Covid test result.
My parents are Wil and Jessi.
Wil is a Software Engineer and currently works for NACAR. He loves Dungeons and Dragons, coding, reading, movies and of course, Jessi and Violet.
To learn more about Wil you can visit his website.
Jessi is an Ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. She serves as the Parish Associate of St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Orange Park, Florida. Jessi loves cooking, reading, crime dramas, The Sims, and of course, Wil and Violet.
To learn more about Jessi you can visit her website.
We can't forget the most beloved family member, Ella, our adorable dachshund mix pup. Violet recently discovered Ella, much to Ella's dismay. We are hoping these two will become the best of friends.
Violet Jean Stead was affectionally named after two of her great-grandmothers.
Viola Jane Stead was Wil's beloved paternal grandmother. Nana was full of life and love for her family. She lived an exciting life full of many great adventures and loved her family. Although she preferred to go by Jane, we know she'd be honored to have Violet as her namesake.
Ima Jean Pratt Rhodes was Jessi's beloved maternal grandmother. Grandmother was a spitfire, sassy, loving and generous gal who looked over her family like any great matriarch would do! She loved life, loved a good game of Black Jack and loved a sweet southern whiskey. At the age of 18 Grandmother changed her name from (unspoken) to Ima Jean, but never once went by Ima as she preferred to pay homage herself to her beloved Uncle Gene. Violet is the third generation in our family to take the name Jean as a middle name.