LAKEWOOD, Colo. – An expectant mother’s co-workers at a used-car dealership jumped in to help when she suddenly started labor three weeks early.
Jalisha Maxey-Deveraux went into labor in the bathroom of the CarHop Auto Sales Office in Lakewood, Colorado. The second-time mom was about to leave work to go to a baby shower, but the baby couldn’t wait.
“Never in a million years, felt like it was a movie,” Maxey-Deveraux said. “I called my husband. ‘I think that these are real contractions at this point; they’re not Braxton Hicks anymore.’”
It was then that her co-workers unexpectedly became part of her birth story.
“She was definitely having a contraction,” said Libbie Roan, the dealership’s manager. “I knocked on the door and asked if she was okay. She was like, ‘Yeah, I think I might be in labor and I was like ‘OK’!”
“We didn’t have any towels. … We’re a business, we were not in the business of babies,” Roan said. “So we didn’t have a whole lot of supplies.”
“There’s a lot of screaming and a lot of … I don’t want to say anger … but pain going on,” sales representative Jacob Cloutier said. “A lot of it, on my end, was just remaining calm, trying to keep her calm and trying to keep her breathing.”
“The West Metro Fire Department showed up after I had caught the baby,” said Cloutier, who was able to draw on the experience of his son’s birth to help Maxey-Deveraux deliver her daughter. “I’m just very grateful that there were no complications.”
Baby Jhersi weighs only 5 lbs. 9 oz., but she’s healthy. Back at home on maternity leave, Maxey-Deveraux is thankful for her co-workers.
“[Cloutier] stood up and did what he had to do and helped me out and I really appreciate it because I don’t know if she would have been OK if he hadn’t,” Maxey-Deveraux said.