Meet Baby Jude

Our sweet Jude made his much anticipated arrival last weekend.  It was not how we envisioned it to happen, but sometimes life gives you dirty, brown snow and there is nothing to do but endure it, to pretend it's fluffy and white, and to count down the days until summer and sunshine.

On Friday, February 3, Kevin and I headed off to the doctor for our 39 week appointment.  We had a babysitter and I was looking forward to some time in the city after my appointment.  Everything seemed to go well and we decided to have my membranes stripped (somewhat more casually being the third time rather than the first) .  About five minutes later, our doctor left and came back in the room and said I had elevated protein in my urine and they needed to run some extra tests.  They drew some blood and I sat on a monitor and did a stress test.  Our little guy was showing off and moving every twenty seconds, so we were able to head out about a half an hour later with two thumbs up.  

Kevin went back to work and I went straight to the grocery store to stock up on all the essentials (remember, I was without children).  I hadn't been home ten minutes and my doctor called saying my blood test came back and we needed to proceed with an induction within the next day.  From what I understand (which isn't much), protein in the urine can be a warning sign to high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia.  Our doctor didn't want to risk either of those things happening before baby decided to come.

An induction was not how I envisioned this labor and delivery, but I trust my doctor; and knowing it needed to happen got me on board.  After speaking with my doctor, I was on the phone for the next hour trying to make arrangements for the kids and letting family know.  That afternoon was already scheduled to be sacred time; I had a hair appointment and Kevin and I were supposed to be going on a date, so I wanted to get everything organized before we headed out, (which we were definitely going to do), especially since the next day would be life changing.

Kevin and I had a great night together at La Buvette and came home early to snuggle both our littles to bed.  After very, very little sleep, we were up the next day to drop Luke and Lily off at Grandma and Grandpa's house (with cousins!) and headed to the hospital.  It's always a weird feeling driving to the hospital, knowing you're going to have a baby.  I was a ball of nerves, but so excited to meet our little man.

We checked in and our doctor broke my water about thirty minutes later.  She gave me six hours to try and get things started on my own before she was going to start Pitocin.  Kevin and I mall-walked around the hallways of the hospital like it was going out of style (in fact we walked enough to solve the world's problems twice over).  I started getting blisters from my slippers, so I changed into my Converse and walked in those.  Kevin thinks we walked about six miles, which is longer than I have walked in a long, long time.

Around 1:30 p.m., I started having irregular contractions.  They were strong and I thought maybe I wanted an epidural.  Our nurse, Kelsey, checked me and I was about a four and 80% effaced.  I had been a three when I came in that morning.  Kelsey suggested starting Pitocin and then getting an epidural a little later.  I walked for another thirty minutes and decided I wanted an epidural.  She started the fluids and I was feeling good by 3:00 p.m. with a successful epidural.  In that time, I tried to take a nap, but was too excited, so Kevin and I chatted, he read for awhile (and checked basketball scores), and I just dreamt of meeting our boy.

Somewhere in the following crucial time frame was a potentially controversial dilemma where Kevin’s Cyclones delivered Kelsey’s Jayhawks their first basketball home loss in 51 games <Kevin’s insertion>.

Kelsey returned and checked me at 4:45 and was surprised to see I was at an 8 already.  It seems that my body just knows what to do once I get that epidural. #praisejesus  This was our nurse's first day back from maternity leave, so she 'quickly' went to pump before I progressed anymore.  About ten minutes later, I had to call a nurse because I was feeling the need to push.  Another sweet nurse came in and called our doctor right away.  I had made it to a 10 in ten minutes and all things were a go and the nurse said she would stay with me no matter what… yet, this nurse also had to step out, but only for a minute…

By the way, you know it’s getting close when they leave and say “Whatever you do, just don’t cough, sneeze, or laugh…”

(Here is where Kevin broke a sweat and frantically prayed he wouldn’t have to deliver the baby.)

However, our sweet little man decided he wanted to make me work for it a bit when I started to push.  His head was turned to the side and every time our doctor got it turned, he turned it right back.  After about forty minutes of pushing and a few different positions, Jude Jeffrey made his way into the world at 5:48 p.m.  I remember all the nurses and our doctor yelling, 'oh my goodness', 'he's so big' when he came out.  They didn't weigh him right away because I wanted him on my chest as long as possible.  We cuddled him while Kevin and I talked to him and told him how perfect he was.  I nursed for about forty minutes and he latched right on.  Between the nurses and doctor, they were guessing Jude's weight.  Unlike them, I didn't have a good frame of reference, so I was unsure what to expect.  Going into this labor and delivery, I thought for sure he would be smaller than Luke and Lily, especially since he was a week early.  Lo and behold, he tipped the scales to 8 pounds 15.6 ounces, which (we found out much later) they rounded to 9 pounds 0 ounces.  He measured 20 inches long and his head circumference was 15.25 centimeters.

The next few hours were absolutely glorious; some of my favorite in this life of mine.  Kevin and I were able to spend uninterrupted time with Jude, loving him, snuggling him, commenting on how perfect he was.  Since it was so late (we didn't give everyone details until later that evening; and too late for visitors) we had the whole night to ourselves and ate up the one-on-one time with him.

On Sunday, Kevin's parents brought Luke and Lily to meet their little brother. Lily kept on saying 'Baby Jude' and wanted to hold him and snuggle me as much as possible.  Luke loved on him as well, on his own time and in his own very sweet way, but he was excited about the new puzzle we had at the hospital waiting for him; he kept busy putting that together and running the hallways with his cousins.  Kevin's sister, Hillary, and her two kids came to visit and it was fun to play and enjoy everyone being together.

We had visitors throughout the day and it was such a fun time to show our little guy off and chat with good friends.  We watched the Super Bowl that night with our congratulatory steak dinner for Kevin and macaroni and cheese for me and it was seriously like a date, except with a brand new, huge blessing snuggled close on my chest.  I'm not sure if it was hormones, but I had tears in my eyes constantly thinking about how beautiful and grand and special and fleeting this time is and how I wish it could last forever.

The next morning we left the hospital to come home (it was too soon for me, and far too late for Kevin).  My mom was with the kids, so like true third-time-parents, we headed straight to Target for a pacifier (which was inserted immediately; try before you buy, folks) and then we ran a few more errands and ate lunch before heading home.  Luke and Lily were so excited to have us home, but Jude definitely stole the show.  Lily was head over heels in love with him and I'm pretty sure I heard her say 'Baby Jude' about fifty a thousand times that night.

Jude entering the world did not start out how I wanted.  I did not want to be induced.  I did not want it to be planned.  I wanted a surprise.  I wanted him to come on his own time.  But, the end result is the same, I realized, and I still have this cuddly, squishy, perfect baby in my arms today to love and cherish my whole life.  Jude's birth has taught me that dirty snow is never planned, but sometimes the necessary ingredient to get to the really good, really golden days of summertime and brighter days ahead.

We are so in love, so thankful to God for our sweet boy Jude, and so happy to be home as a family of five.


  1. I absolutely love this!!! I can't wait to meet baby Jude!!

    1. Thanks, Jill! We are enjoying every minute!

  2. Oh, Vanessa! What a beautiful "personal narrative" of Jude's birth! I loved being able to read about it and savor each part. He's absolutely beautiful and I'm so glad he's here and you're doing well. There's nothing like giving birth. What a wonderful part of our lives as mothers. So very blessed--you and me both! Love you dear friend!

    1. So true, Kim! It is such an incredible experience we are blessed with when we give birth! Miss you!


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