Rockport mother goes into labor while staying in SA shelter

Shanika Jones unsure if anything left in Rockport for family

SAN ANTONIO – A Rockport mother went into labor while staying at a San Antonio shelter just days before her due date.

Shanika Jones and her new baby girl are healthy and doing well at University Hospital, but she has no idea whether they will have a home to return to after Harvey ravaged through the area.

“She’s definitely the calm after the storm,” Jones said,

Jones had no idea she would be welcoming baby Zakaiya Grace while staying in a shelter.

“We kind of came this way with no idea what we were going to do,” Jones said.

Twelve days from her due date and with little time to pack, Jones and her three other children evacuated Rockport and drove to a shelter on the Southeast Side. Then, Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, devastating Jones’ city.

The family had moved to Rockport just weeks earlier.

“Not sure what’s left of home. Not sure what’s going to be there of hers or any of my other kids,” Jones said.

On Wednesday, Jones’ contractions started.

“They were coming six minutes apart,” she said.

Nurse Lolly Perry rode with Jones from the shelter to the hospital, and at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Zakaiya Grace was born.

“I felt real special; that all this happened, and she looks just like her mama,” Perry said.

“I think, like, ‘What am I going to do with my other kids?’ And then I look at her and, I guess, it gives me hope that maybe there’s still something there,” Jones said.

No matter what comes next, Jones has an amazing story to tell.

“I can’t wait until she’s old enough to tell her. I mean, I can wait. I don’t want her to grow too fast,” Jones said.

Jones’ mother is staying with the three other children at the shelter. They will all likely be reunited Friday.

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