Bradley and I laid in bed on Tuesday night, the night before we were going in to have the c-section. We were talking about the baby and this next phase of our lives were were entering. Obviously, sleep was taking its own time in coming. As we were laying there, I admitted a deep down secret that I had been harboring: I was neither dreading or anticipating meeting the baby. While I was looking forward to getting him out, I wasn’t full of the fantasy like I had been before we had Gigi. I felt like I wasn’t honoring this baby by being uber-excited and starry-eyed, full of thoughts and visions of what this was going to be like. Rather I was concerned about the impact of our Rocket Boy on our already happy family, not to mention how he would affect our daughter. Bradley admitted that he also had been feeling the same, but he was not necessarily feeling guilty about it. In his eyes, this second child was another step, another phase, and we would honor him in time. That night, we were more focused on our other baby, Guinevere, and her reaction to this new baby. How was she going to feel? What would her experience with the baby and hospital stay be?

I should have known not to worry. I should have known that the instant I heard Jude’s baby cries as he was being lifted from my womb that Bradley and I would instantly fall deeply in love with him. I should have known that Guinevere’s excitement along with her sensitive and kind nature would instantly bond herself to her brother. I should have known that our son’s nature would be calm and peaceful. I should have known. But I am getting ahead of myself…

We awoke at 6:00 AM after a good night’s sleep and hurriedly showered and dressed. We hopped in the car by 6:45 and were on our way to the hospital. We arrived, and after a brief confusing jaunt to the wrong surgery, we made our way to the triage unit and listened for the last time to our baby’s kicks and heartbeats in utero. My mom arrived as well as our caretakers for Guinevere, Michelle and Amy. Guinevere was quickly distracted by books, toys and games that my dear friends had brought for our daughter. She was so distracted that as I was taken downstairs to surgery, she could hardly kiss me goodbye quickly enough. I was relieved that she wasn’t going to spend the next few hours worried about Mommy in surgery having the baby.

Mom and Bradley got dressed in their scrubs and I made my way into surgery where I was given the spinal block. My legs were quickly asleep and I turned nauseous. When I had Guinevere’s surgery I spent the time before meeting her throwing up and crying. Dr. Dash, the anesthesiologist, gave me some medicine to counteract the nausea, and soon I was just fine. I realized that they were starting to cut me and my family wasn’t in the room yet! I called a halt and they rushed Bradley and my mom into the room. About two minutes later, I heard the suction of the amniotic fluid followed by the sweet cries of my baby. I began to cry. I forgot how tiny and quiet those first cries are. I heard laughter from the staff as they were lifting him out of me (he grabbed the clamp that had clamped the umbilical cord on the way out and wouldn’t let go) and the news that he was definitely a boy!

Then I saw him, that tiny little baby who had been living, dancing, swirling, wrestling, sword fighting and rock throwing inside me for almost a year. I saw his little hair that was stuck to his scalp, the little feet and hands, the swollen eyes… I lay there alone and weeping joyful tears as my family gathered around the bassinet to take him in. Bradley sang to him all the songs that will be his soundtrack, Hey Jude, Beautiful Boy, You’ll Be in My Heart, and even Baby Mine which is Gigi’s own baby song which we promised never to song to the new baby. Finally, wrapped and snug he was brought to me. I planted the first kiss on his round cheek. He was already asleep, his puffy little eyes closed against the bright lights in surgery. Perfect.

Dr. Banfield, all this time, was busy with my insides. He made sure that we were all for the sterilization and tied off my tubes. Both my mom and Bradley were shocked to see him pull my uterus out of my body (like stretch it out way above my body!), separate the tubes and snip and tie each side. I was surprised that they wanted to watch! No more babies for me. He closed me up. I asked to see the placenta and was surprised at how thin the membrane is that holds all of that fluid and baby! It’s also amazing that the umbilical cord is so white. Jude’s was also pretty short. Weirdly I was happy about that. He was so mobile that I had feared a long cord, that he might get is too snugly wrapped around his neck or tied in a knot. Even after he was out, I was still thinking of this!

I headed to recovery where Guinevere was supposed to join us. She timidly stepped into the room and upon seeing her brother said that he looked just like she remembered him. You see, in her sweet little memory she has decided that she remembers living up in heaven with God. She remembers looking down at all the families and choosing Bradley and me to be her parents. And she remembers her brother from heaven too. They had made a deal that she would come first and that Jude would come second. It is one of those things that she believes and who are we to refute her? So, she remembered her brother.

The nurse had Guinevere help her weigh and measure Jude who looked so tiny to me, but came up with totally average measurements of 8 pounds 5 ounces and 20 inches long! I thought he’d be on the small side! Jude received two tens for his APGAR scores. Apparently it is unusual to get a ten the first time, but because of his grabbing the clamp he scored a perfect ten both times! Jude started to cry which freaked Guinevere out. Then she heard he was getting the vitamin K shot and she was out of there! She was not interested in hearing her baby brother cry! So she headed back upstairs while we bathed the baby and nursed him for the first time. Finally I was moved to my room which would be our home for the next few days.

On Wednesday we had a lot of visitors who wanted to meet the baby. Sadly, I was pretty out of it. Tired and nauseous! I kept clearing the room by throwing up then falling asleep. I wasn’t the best hostess, but really, they were there to see the baby anyhow. During some point that day, I peeled off the blankets and took a peek at his beautiful hands and feet with those pretty purple nails. He nursed like a champ from the get-go, no latching or sucking problems at all. My milk came in a day or so later so already he is growing fatter instead of thinner. That is a great relief to me as I really struggled with nursing Guinevere. I was asleep early that night. Bradley was on diaper detail all night.

The next day I was intent on getting up and around, as that would also get us home sometime on Friday. This surgery has been much more difficult than the c-section I had with Guinevere. I am in a lot more pain this time and found standing to be difficult at first. Walking was slow and difficult also, but perseverance allowed me to shower and take a lap around the hospital. With pain medication, I’ve been doing pretty well. I needed some help getting in and out of bed, off and on the toilet, but on the whole I am doing well and recovering fine.

We have learned a few things about our Jude in the short days since he has joined us. He is incredibly content and mellow. His cry is soft and sweet and rarely heard. He looks around at things and studies pictures and faces with intention and interest. He does not like to be swaddled as he likes to have his hands free to wave around and cram into his mouth, but his hands get cold and turn purple really easy. He likes to snuggle and sleeps pretty well, allowing mom and dad at least one good four hour stretch of sleep every night. Guinevere is proud of her new status as a big sister. She likes to hold Jude and carry him. We are working on safe ways to do both!

On Friday we got to leave the hospital. We were escorted outside where we loaded the car and proceeded down the road. I began to cry. Leaving that safe little cocoon that is the hospital is difficult. We were stepping away from that last time I’ll ever have a baby, those last first cries and snuggles with a baby that I’ve carried, that safe time in the hospital where mom and baby are pampered and cared for, away from all of my childbearing. It was hard to leave, but I was also really happy to bring my boy home to start our real life as a real family of four. One adventure down, a million more to go.

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The Birth of Jude


Gigi Said

  • Topless Tapas 2012-11-03 18:44:52-

    Tami was leaving to go out with her friend and the kids begged to go with her. I said, "you don't want to go with mom, she is going to the Tapas bar and we are going to stay here and play games."

    Gigi stiffened, "That's weird", she said as she blushed. I processed fast and realized the problem. "TAPAS bar. It means 'small plate', not TOPLESS bar!"

Jude Said

  • Nicknames 2013-01-04 21:30:33-

    The checker at the store asked our always conversational little boy what his name was. He replied "Jude" then added "but sometimes they call me pumpkin brown". LOL.

    And they are right. We call him that after the folksong that we sing sometimes.

A long time ago…