Twenty-six years ago, June Preisner gave birth to a healthy, happy baby girl named Michaela at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. On Monday, August 30, 2021, Michaela gave birth to a healthy, happy baby boy named Jonah. Nurse Judi Jasperse was there to assist with both deliveries – 26 years apart.
“We will always tell him that the same nurse that helped deliver his mama, helped deliver him when he was born because it’s just too cool,” said Preisner. “The fact that Judi has been at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s for years and seen hundreds of births just shows what a loyal clinician she is. She’s top of the line.”
Preisner knows Judi Jasperse as her and her daughter’s labor and delivery nurse, but also knows her as a former co-worker when they served together in the labor and delivery unit at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. When June’s daughter Michaela went into labor, it was like old times and the memories came flooding back.
“I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of births but this one takes the cake,” said Preisner. “I will always be a Mercy Health Saint Mary’s loyal patient because of the phenomenal care you get, and I knew I wanted my daughter to have that same care. Being on the floor where I worked and where I had my daughter, it was so special. I forgot for a minute I was Michaela’s mom and not a labor and delivery nurse. Everything comes naturally, so I told Judi if she had to – she could kick me out of the way.”
For Judi Jasperse, RN, it was a special moment to share with June, Michaela, and baby Jonah – and it was the second time it has happened in her nursing career. Judi helped deliver another baby, Colleen, 26 years ago – and then helped deliver Colleen’s daughter two years ago.
“I really can’t say enough about what a huge blessing it is to be a part of that moment for those families,” said Jasperse. “I try to get involved with my patients because I truly care. I like to be engaged with them and not just do a task and walk out the door. It’s a conversation and a relationship, and I can share my experience based on my own as a mother and as a nurse. I have had a vaginal birth and a caesarean. I’ve had a single birth; I’ve had twins. I’ve conceived easily and struggled with infertility. I like using some of my own experiences to help make the delivery more comfortable for my patients.”
Jonah Armstrong is the first baby for Michaela and her husband, Brandon. The newborn measured 22 inches long and weighed nine pounds, one ounce. Jonah loves to eat and is a “cuddle bug” according to Michaela, who said she loved her experience at the Mercy Health Saint Mary’s birth center — a place she used to visit as a kid.
“I grew up in this hospital. I’d visit my mom and it was always so enjoyable and everyone was so nice,” said Michaela. “I had the same amazing experience as a patient not only with Judi but with all of our nurses. They were all incredible. They were helpful, got me to relax – and made me more comfortable transitioning into motherhood.”
Jasperse will celebrate her 29th year working at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in October. Though she’s had unique experiences and the pleasure of meeting hundreds of new babies –- she’s ready to focus on her eight grandkids and hopes to retire in the next couple years.
“It will be a sad day when I walk away. It’s a part of my identity,” said Jasperse. “For 29 years I haven’t just been going to a job; it’s my passion as well. I love Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and our mission. I’m a Christian and believe we are here to serve people. I believe we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We care for whoever walks through our door. We are one big, happy family, helping create bigger families.”
“I’m thankful I’ve had moments like those with June and Michaela. She hand-picked me for one of the biggest moments in her life. She trusted me as a nurse, and I consider that a true blessing.”