Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jude's Birth Story

Be forewarned: Blood and nether-regions are referenced in this post. Proceed at your own risk.

Jude has been here for a little over two weeks now, so I think it's time to share with you his birth story. That is, if you want to hear it.

Jude's entrance into this world was so completely different from Delaney's. With Delaney, everything was hard and fast. Hard contractions, fast(ish) delivery, two weeks early, etc. And then with Jude...not so much. I mentioned the differences to one of the nurses attending to me and she responded with, "Well, of course it's different, sweetie. Every baby wants their own story." That really resonated with me and was yet another reminder of how different each little human is and desires to be known as their own person, even at such an early age.

At my 39 week appointment my mid-wife declared that I was 4 cm dilated and effaced. I had been having contractions for a few days, but nothing was too regular. My mid-wife told me that as soon as my contractions started to become regular that I should head over to the hospital. Later that day my contractions seemed to increase, and we all thought that Jude was on his way. We made a phone call to my mom, she hopped on a plane, and we waited. Then we waited some more. My mom arrived (thank goodness--she missed Delaney's delivery by an hour and I didn't want that repeated) and we waited some more. In fact, we waited around for a few days. I had contractions every day, but no baby. Meanwhile, my toddler was driving me crazy (I love you, Delaney!) and all I could fixate on was the fact that I was exhausted and I hadn't even gone into labor yet. So on Monday, February 7th, after over a week of contractions with no baby, my mom and husband talked me into going to the hospital to just get "checked out." Normally I wouldn't comply with such an idea; I had no desire to sit around hooked up to an IV just waiting for a baby to come out. I wanted to go into labor at home, ride it out until it got really gnarly, and then show up at the hospital like I did with Delaney. But I was so tired and annoyed at those uneventful contractions that I agreed to go in and get checked.

We arrived at 3:30pm and had to wait around a bit to get situated. They put a monitor on me and when they came to check me I was having a contraction. During the contraction Jude's heart rate decreased, and they informed me that I wasn't going anywhere. I was 5 cm dilated anyway, which is when they usually admit. They threw around the phrase "possible c-section if this continues," which sent me into a tail spin of panic. Thankfully, it was a one time ordeal and Jude's heart rate was fine. My body was set to have a baby, except for the fact that my contractions weren't consistent enough, so they started me on Pitocin and I sat and waited for my baby to come.

I had birthed Delaney naturally and wanted to do the same with Jude. I always feel a little funny talking about this decision with people. Every person's birth experience and pain tolerance is different, and I don't want to sound self-righteous by flaunting my desire to birth my babies without an epidural. Personally, I feel like my body was created to withstand the difficulties of childbirth, and I want to honor that by doing things as naturally as possible. Also, I have a horrible aversion towards needles, and the thought of a huge needle shoved into my back really, really freaks me out.

Steve and I had practiced our breathing techniques, and I'm so thankful for my husband and his great coaching abilities. He really kept me focused, especially during transition. There was one point that I thought, "I've done this once naturally. Why did I think that it would be a good idea to go down that road again?" However, with my mom and Steve keeping me calm, I pushed that little bugger out of my body and into the world. Child birth is miraculous, disgusting, and beautiful all in one breath, and I remember looking down and seeing Jude for the first time as he was entering the world. I hadn't really spoken the whole time I was laboring, because that would require way too much energy. However, when I saw Jude, I said something incredibly silly and obvious along the lines of "Hey guys, look--it's Jude!" I was so glad that he was actually here. Jude, much like his sister, came punching out into the world, so I had to have some fancy stitching done in the nether-regions, which took over an hour to do. Jude was born at 11:48pm, so we were pretty exhausted by the time we were placed in our recovery room, but our hearts were full.

Jude weighed in a 7 lbs. 3 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Delaney was 6 lbs. 10 oz and 19 inches long, so he already has a head start at outweighing his sister. He is such a dream baby, and he looks like a carbon copy of his daddy when he was a newborn. I have been praying for a mini-Steve, and I'm so thankful that we have him here. We all think that Jude is the cat's meow.

First bath from Daddy.

Arriving home...we're all a little bit sleepy.

Meeting Charlie for the first time. I'm sure they'll be BFFs soon enough.

Heart breaker!

The Dunlap men.

The very proud big sister, holding Baby Jude.


mme. bookling said...

I'm beaming with pride, you are amazing Karen.

Glad to hear the story!

the sealey family said...

thanks for sharing your birth story! i love hearing/reading birth stories. it's beautiful. he is beautiful.

Alyssa said...

I am sitting here with a huge smile on my face, so happy for you, you make beautiful babies! I love you and miss you.

Sam, Dana and Maximillian said...

He is seriously ADORABLE!!!! I can't believe how cute he is!!! I had to laugh at your description of birth too :) Sam said almost the exact same thing when some asked him his view on it all...emphasizing the disgusting! :) You are an amazing momma! So happy or you both!

Anonymous said...

He is beautiful, Karen! Congratulations!


Annie said...

Love the picture of sweet Delaney and her baby brother, you are blessed:)

Alison said...

Oh my dear friend-we just got home and your little blog is the first place that I've landed. So happy to hear about little Jude man's birth. Can't wait till I can pinch those little cheeks of his!!! Love you tons.

alex said...

what a cute babay.. grow healthy and strong!!!
keep blogging..

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The Lewis and Ruby Blog World said...


traceyjay said...

he's precious and beautiful. Congratulations woman!

I'm praying au naturale works out for us next time... praying, praying, praying!

Christina Ellis said...

The human body is an amazing creation! Handling labor is hard enough, but with pitocin, well, it's just not a pretty sight for most women. You are an amazing creation and so is Jude! So happy he's here!