I Delivered My Baby 25 Weeks Premature After A Head-On Collision Nearly Cost Us Our Lives

I Delivered My Baby 25 Weeks Premature After A Head-On Collision Nearly Cost Us Our Lives

Her Voice

After exchanging I do's in an intimate courthouse wedding, Jevon and Julie McBride were eager to start the big family they had always talked about while dating. Julie couldn't wait to be a mother. However, starting a family of her own wouldn't come without struggle.

Within the first few years of marriage, trying to conceive was plagued by a string of miscarriages. The pair eventually sought help at a fertility clinic where, several extensive tests later, they learned that they were infertile.

Exactly 10 years from the time they were married, Jevon and Julie found out they were pregnant with their baby girl Juliana. It was not only a miracle, it was a gift from God.

25 weeks into her pregnancy, the couple were involved in a head-on collision.

Below, Julie takes us through her journey from infertility to conception of her child, the life or death moment that would change her life forever, and ultimately how the grace of God blessed her with the family she and her husband had prayed for.

On Being Confronted with Infertility

I knew there was an infertility issue three years before we conceived Juliana. The struggle of conceiving was heartbreaking. I had three miscarriages within the first three years of our marriage. Every month, we would have hope. Every month, we would buy pregnancy tests, and every month, we would get a negative.

That's the same time that we sought help as well. We considered adoption, but it was so expensive and we wanted to try seeing a fertility doctor first. The fertility doctor wanted us to try naturally for a while before they introduced fertility meds, even though we said we'd been having issues for years already.

When we learned of infertility, our doctor had us do testing with my uterus and fallopian tubes. I also had to do lots of different blood work testing. We had to try naturally for a while and also used ovulation testing. When that didn't work, went to oral fertility meds. It almost becomes a trial and error to see what works and what agrees with your body. What ended up working for me was a Gonal-f injection pen and IUI.

On Learning They Were Finally Pregnant

It was 10 years from the time we got married until the time we got pregnant with our baby. I screamed with excitement the moment the positive showed up. I thanked God over and over for delivering on His promise. I couldn't believe after all the heartache and tears I was carrying in my life, I was carrying a child too. So many years of wanting a baby and our dream and prayers were being answered. My husband watched me for a little bit, then hugged me in excitement. He was thrilled.

Juliana's conception was a blessing from God. It was proof that when you have faith, God will deliver on His promise.

We prayed for her every day that we carried her. We bought a baby swing right away and we would buy gender neutral clothing, and got a baby-soothing noisemaker. We also completed a baby registry.

On the Night That Changed Everything

The night of the head-on collision, we were headed home from the military base where my husband is stationed. I had just finished my shift (as a preschool teacher) and he was the gym. We rode together. A driver fell asleep and crossed over the two-lane road right into our lane.

We will never forget the headlights coming at us and I will never forget my husband honking, saying, “What is this driver doing?"

We were a mile from our house when the head-on collision happened. When we came to, after the accident, my husband asked if I was okay and if I felt the baby. He knew something was wrong with his leg immediately. He couldn't move it. I couldn't move either. We prayed to our Father several times while waiting for help to arrive. We just wanted our baby to be okay.

I was 25 weeks at the time of the accident.

On the Aftermath

My husband sustained a shattered ankle and a broken tibia and femur. I had a hip concussion and was on a walked for a little over a month. We both had concussions as well.

I learned I would need an emergency C-section within 10 hours of Juliana's birth. I was scared because the doctor knew I had bleeding in my uterus and I didn't want to lose my baby or die. I was also sad it wasn't the birth we had planned but most of me put that aside and didn't care as long as Juliana survived.

We did not have a name for her until we prayed before we both went in for surgeries after our head-on collision. We named her Juliana after my grandmother, Charlotte after my husband's grandmother, and Madison derived from Matthew out of the Bible, which loosely means “Gift from God."

They didn't know if she would survive but we asked them to give her a fighting chance. No matter what. On day three, after she was born, we learned she had a grade 4 brain bleed and they didn't think she would survive.

God had different plans.

On the Recovery Process

My husband was in the hospital for a few weeks. I was in the hospital for a little over a week and Juliana was in the NICU for a little over 3 ½ months.

Recovery was tough. My husband endured multiple surgeries and had grueling physical and occupational therapy, which is still ongoing. I had physical and occupational therapy as well. Juliana has physical and occupational therapy as well.

We kept the faith because we needed it for Juliana to survive and for my husband and I to heal. We knew God had plans and didn't bring us as far as He did for no reason. We know God loves us and will never give us more than we can handle.

On Their Happily Ever After

Life as a family of three has been beautiful. Somedays we say, “Wow, we're still here."

My husband is doing well in therapy and has finally been walking for two months without any assistance. Juliana just had her first birthday (October 8). She's meeting milestones and also continues PT (physical therapy) and OT (occupational therapy). I went back to work after 8 ½ months, Jevon at 9 months and he's still active duty air force. Juliana started daycare at the same time and she loves it.

Juliana is surely a miracle. We're so happy that she's a light to everyone who knows her and even people who don't.

We remember so many times when doctors would say things didn't look good or even when she fought for her life after brain surgery. She's still here. God had the final say.

You can have it all planned out and think things will go one way, but God knows the ultimate plan.

- As Told To Sheriden Chanel

Keep up with Julie McBride and her beautiful bundle of joy Juliana on Instagram.

Have you been blessed with children after doctors labeled you as “infertile" or said there was a slim to zero chance that you would be able to have children? We'd love to feature you! Send us an email detailing your story with the subject: “Miracle Baby" to submissions@xonecole.com. Don't forget to send pics!

Black Women, We Deserve More

When the NYT posted an article this week about the recent marriage of a Black woman VP of a multi-billion-dollar company and a Black man who took her on a first date at the parking lot of a Popeyes, the reaction on social media was swift and polarizing. The two met on Hinge and had their parking lot rendezvous after he’d canceled their first two dates. When the groom posted a photo from their wedding on social media, he bragged about how he never had “pressure” to take her on “any fancy dates or expensive restaurants.”

It’s worth reading on your own to get the full breadth of all the foolery that transpired. But the Twitter discourse it inspired on what could lead a successful Black woman to accept lower than bare minimum in pursuit of a relationship and marriage, made me think of the years of messaging that Black women receive about how our standards are too high and what we have to “bring to the table” in order to be "worthy" of what society has deemed is the ultimate showing of our worth: a marriage to a man.

That's right, the first pandemic I lived through was not Covid, but the pandemic of the Black male relationship expert. I was young – thirteen to be exact – when Steve Harvey published his best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Though he was still just a stand-up comedian, oversized suit hoarder, and man on his third marriage at the time, his relationship advice was taken as the gospel truth.

The 2000s were a particularly bleak time to be a single Black woman. Much of the messaging –created by men – that surrounded Black women at the time blamed their desire for a successful career and for a partner that matched their drive and ambition for the lack of romance in their life. Statistics about Black women’s marriageability were always wielded against Black women as evidence of our lack of desirability.

It’s no wonder then that a man that donned a box cut well into the 2000s was able to convince women across the nation to not have sex for the first three months of a relationship. Or that a slew of other Black men had their go at telling Black women that they’re not good enough and why their book, seminar, or show will be the thing that makes them worthy of a Good Man™.

This is how we end up marrying men who cancel twice before taking us on a “date” in the Popeyes parking lot, or husbands writing social media posts about how their Black wife is not “the most beautiful” or “the most intelligent” or the latest season of trauma dumping known as Black Love on OWN.

Now that I’ve reached my late twenties, many things about how Black women approach dating and relationships have changed and many things have remained the same. For many Black women, the idea of chronic singleness is not the threat that it used to be. Wanting romance doesn’t exist in a way that threatens to undermine the other relationships we have with our friends, family, and ourselves as it once did, or at least once was presented to us. There is a version of life many of us are embracing where a man not wanting us, is not the end of what could still be fruitful and vibrant life.

There are still Black women out there however who have yet to unlearn the toxic ideals that have been projected onto us about our worthiness in relation to our intimate lives. I see it all the time online. The absolute humiliation and disrespect some Black women are willing to stomach in the name of being partnered. The hoops that some Black women are willing to jump through just to receive whatever lies beneath the bare minimum.

It's worth remembering that there are different forces at play that gather to make Black women feast off the scraps we are given. A world saturated by colorism, fatphobia, anti-Blackness, ableism, and classism will always punish Black women who demand more for themselves. Dismantling these systems also means divesting from any and everything that makes us question our worth.

Because truth be told, Black women are more than worthy of having a love that is built on mutual respect and admiration. A love that is honey sweet and radiates a light that rivals the sun. A love that is a steadying calming force that doesn’t bring confusion or anxiety. Black women deserve a love that is worthy of the prize that we are.

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Featured image: Getty Images

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