You were made for us. The perfect piece to complete our puzzle. The caboose, as your daddy likes to call you. The grand finale. Jude means “praise” — Praise the Lord for you!
You weren’t my easiest pregnancy, but I really can’t complain. For 9 months, we walked and ate Taco Bell and went all over town with your brothers and sister. With you by my side, we conquered a lot during our pregnancy.
And then it was time for you to join our family. I was really ready, doing a lot of walking and eating spicy food. I knew you would be a big baby, and I was nervous for your delivery.
On Saturday, September 21st I woke up and rolled out of bed like I did every morning with you. I went to the bathroom and noticed a small leak. I was scheduled to be induced with you the very next day, so I wasn’t expecting you to arrive on that Saturday. My water has never broken naturally, so honestly, I really didn’t know if that’s what was happening. I decided to call my doctor, who advised us to come to the hospital.
Your dad and I checked into the hospital where they confirmed my water broke and you would arrive sometime that day. I was nervous and excited and ready to meet you. We still didn’t know if you were a boy or girl!
My contractions where moderate, but I was nervous you would arrive too soon for an epidural so I got one pretty early. But you weren’t ready to come out. They think my water broke prematurely, but there really wasn’t anything we could do at that point but to wait. Your dad was happy we had all day to watch college football. We waited and waited and waited and waited. I dilated slowly, but I wasn’t in pain, thanks to the epidural.
There was a shift change at 7 PM and we saw a new nurse who checked me and noticed my bag of fluid still wasn’t completely broken and it was blocking your head from moving down the birth canal. OF COURSE! Otherwise, I think you could have been born a lot sooner. They finally broke that bag and I quickly dilated to a 9 within about 10 minutes. It was time to push.
I pushed twice and your head was ready to come out. I pushed a third time and your head was out… but then the tide started to turn.
Your shoulder was stuck in my pelvis bone, I later learned this is called shoulder dystocia. Not entirely uncommon, but not common either…about 1 in 150 deliveries. It’s more likely to happen if you’ve had shoulder dystocia before and is sometimes easy to predict it’s about to occur, but that wasn’t the case for us. I had never had that happen before and all of my babies were very big.
Your head was out, but the doctor could not pull your shoulder out. A nurse slammed on the emergency button and the next 5 minutes are a blur to me… but your dad and the nurses did a great job explaining it later.
About 12 nurses and doctors came running into the room. My bed flew back and 5 nurses were standing on my bed pushing down on my stomach and holding my legs back as far as possible. The doctor was quickly maneuvering your head around trying to dislodge your shoulder.
You weren’t making a sound, I was screaming my lungs out. I don’t remember any of this. For 90 seconds, medical professionals attempted to get you out. I later learned that’s an unusual and dangerous amount of time to be in shoulder dystocia. Your dad stepped out of the way and watched what he describes as “the scariest 90 seconds of his life” unfold.
Finally, you came out. Your dad didn’t have the chance to announce your gender. A nurse told me “it’s a boy” and you were whisked away quickly to be looked over. You were still not crying. Once you finally let out your first cry, you dad said everyone in the room breathed a sigh of relief. I was shaking, I was crying, I was asking what happened, I was asking what happened to you, I was so confused and scared.
A pediatrician looked you over and they brought you back to me soon after. You were purple from bruising, but you were my beautiful baby boy.
I remember praying and pleading to God to get you out, I remember looking at my blood soaked shaking hands and crying so hard. Your dad came over to me, he had tears in his eyes (even though he said he didn’t) and we looked at you. We didn’t even name you right away, we thanked God you were safe.
After about an hour we decided to name you Jude Elston. Jude means “praise”… Praise the Lord for your safe, yet scary, delivery.
The next morning a pediatrician confirmed you had a broken collarbone on your right side. You have it pinned close to your side for the next few weeks, but you are resilient as all babies are and will recover very soon! A small price to pay for what could have happened to you.
I can’t stop staring at you. You look so much like your siblings, especially your sister. I can’t wait for you to get to know them during the next days, weeks, months and years. They are a special group of children. They love each other and they love you so very much.
Welcome home, buddy. The final piece to our family of 6.