The Transylvania Times -

By Lenora Carver
Staff Writer 

Jessica Was County's First Baby In 2011


January 28, 2011

The first baby born in Transylvania County this year was Jessica Dakota Grace Fisher, who is seen here with her parents, Courtney Lewis and John Fisher. (Times photo by Lenora Carver)

Despite being born premature and having some medical problems after birth, Jessica Dakota Grace Fisher, the first baby born in Transylvania County this year, is doing just fine.

At 3:32 p.m. on Jan. 3, John Fisher, 24, and Courtney Lewis, 17, welcomed their first child into the world. She weighed 5 pounds and 12 ounces and was 18 inches long.

"I was in labor for a while. A hard labor," said Lewis. "(But) she is my little angel. My little gift. I'm so glad to have her."

Lewis was in labor for four days and was given shots twice in an attempt to stop the early contractions. Jessica wasn't due to have been born until Jan. 25.

"I was actually in and out of the hospital for about a week with problems," said Lewis.

Lewis and Fisher said they were sitting in their Flat Creek area home when the labor pains worsened.

"He carried me out to the van because I couldn't walk," said Lewis as she smiled at Fisher.

At Transylvania Regional Hospital, Lewis said they did a test that showed her water had partially broken.

Once ready to deliver, Lewis said the actual birth itself went quickly.

"But it seemed like it lasted forever," said Lewis.

Once she saw Jessica, Lewis said it felt "amazing" that the tiny baby was finally in her arms.

"I was so happy," said Lewis.

"I just couldn't think something that big could come out of me," she said with a laugh.

Fisher said he was also in awe of his daughter and couldn't believe she was finally there.

"I was tickled to death," said Fisher. "All I wanted to do was just hold her."

While Lewis and none of their family thought Jessica would be the first baby born in Transylvania County, Fisher had a hunch she would.

"When (Lewis) started having pains, I was just expecting it — especially when we got there and there wasn't anyone else there (in the birthing center)," said Fisher.

Even though the couple said they were both shocked and frightened when they discovered they were having a baby, now they can't imagine life without her.

This fear of lossing her came to close for comfort for the couple when Jessica stopped breathing her second day of life.

Lewis said she was feeding her daughter when she started choking and suddenly stopped breathing.

"They told me her intestines were clogged with mucus," said Lewis.

The baby and Lewis were rushed to Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville where the baby was treated.

"I started balling instantly," said Lewis. "I was terrified."

The couple said they just couldn't believe something was wrong with their little girl.

The next day, Fisher said their fears were laid to rest when the doctor told them Jessica would be fine.

Lewis said she was just thankful for everyone that helped. She was especially grateful to all the nurses at the Transylvania Regional Hospital birthing center.

In the end, Lewis said she was glad they went to Mission Hospital since her baby was able to stay in the birthing center with her first cousin.

Lewis' brother, Aaron, and his girlfriend, Kimmy Aiken, gave birth to a baby boy, Aaron Michael Bradley Lewis, at Mission Hospital three days after Lewis gave birth.

Fisher and Lewis said both of their families were thrilled over another grandchild.

Fisher is the son of Cynthia Renee Owen and James Arthur Fisher.

Lewis is the daughter of Michael Gary Lewis and Tabetha Ann Owen Riddle and the stepdaughter of Leonard MacArthur Riddle.

"My dad is tickled to death," said Lewis. "This is his seventh granddaughter. And this is my mom's first grandkid besides my brother's."

After all the issues surrounding Jessica's birth and medical problems, the couple said they were relived but a little frightened when they finally took Jessica home.

"I can't take my eyes off of her," said Lewis. "She has been sleeping beside me every moment since we got out."

After watching her baby stop breathing, she said she constantly checks to ensure she is OK.

Fisher said he just never wants to put her down.

"She already has him wrapped around her little finger," said Lewis with a laugh.

Even though Jessica is only a few weeks old and has survived several issues, they know when she does grow up that she will be a strong young woman.

"Already, when she doesn't want to be messed with, she'll let you know," said Lewis.

The couple said that while having a baby has changed their lives, it's the best change they could ever imagine.

"Everyone should have one," said Fisher. "It's been everything I ever expected and more."


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