12-31-16, 5:47am (38 weeks + 0 days)
6lbs 8 oz, 19.25in
Quick preface: For those of you who aren’t familiar with Wren’s birth story, she joined us at 38 weeks and 5 days after a quick 6 hour labor. Without going into too much detail (you can read the whole story on our blog), I will tell you that the delivery was a bit complicated and left me recovering physically and emotionally for quite a while. I experienced a partial uterine inversion and hemorrhaged, losing about 1 liter of blood. We suspect that this happened because the OB who delivered Wren yanked on the umbilical cord to try to speed up the process of birthing the placenta. When we found out we were pregnant again, I immediately worried about how the next delivery would go and spent a lot of time over the following months trying to find peace and allowing myself to trust our new medical team.
So, now to Jude’s story!
Since we wanted an intervention-free labor & delivery (as much as possible while keeping Jude and I safe, of course), we chose to see midwives for this pregnancy. We were guaranteed that an MD from our practice would also be available at the delivery incase of any obstetric emergency. From the beginning, the midwives really impressed. They came into every appointment knowing exactly who we were, what our history was, and what we wanted from this pregnancy, labor, & delivery. They were knowledgeable, patient, and made us totally comfortable. Given our previous delivery experience, they wanted us to be prepared for the possibility that Jude would come early, and probably rather quickly, and advised us to not go too far from Athens once we got close to go-time.
I was nervous and stressed about how this delivery would go. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around letting my body go through that kind of trauma again. I’ve always loved reading birth stories and I spent Wren’s entire pregnancy reading them every night before bed, but I’d abandoned that ritual after she was born. Somewhere in my 35th-ish week with Jude, I remembered how helpful those stories were to me in visualizing what I wanted for my own labor and delivery, so I started reading them again. I read them in every spare minute I had. I read every kind of birth story… all natural, with pain relief, c-sections, VBAC’s, everything. Eventually, I started to find some comfort in these women’s stories. I remember telling a few people that I finally felt emotionally ready to have Jude around 37 weeks.
My 37th week, I felt great. I had more energy than I’d had in months and was a nesting machine. I’d even mentioned that it was “concerning” that I felt so good, because something must be about to happen. Well, on December 30th at 37 weeks and 6 days, something happened: Aaron and I got the stomach virus our little Wren had come down with the night before. For me, it started pretty abruptly. I felt totally fine all day and only started feeling a tiny bit nauseas around 7:00pm, but by 7:30… it had wrecked me. I’ll spare you the details, but it was definitely the worst stomach virus I’ve ever had and it did not let up for 5-6 hours. I couldn’t keep any water down and was having braxton hicks/contractions in addition to the awful stomach ache and cramps. I figured the contractions were from dehydration and hoped that if I could just keep a little bit of water in my system, they’d go away.
Around midnight, I started to get worried because I was still sick, unable to drink any water, and the contractions were about 3 minutes apart. I called the after-hours number at our doctors office and my favorite midwife was on call. I thought I may need to go to the hospital for IV fluids if I couldn’t get some water into my system, but she didn’t want me to have to go in unless it was totally necessary, so she called in some meds to the 24-hour pharmacy. Poor Aaron (husband of the year) was totally still sick but went out and picked up the zofran & phenergan. Around this time, I also asked my mom to come stay with us, just incase we ended up having to go get IV fluids. I figured that if everything calmed down, at least she could hang out with Wren in the morning so we could rest. I took the zofran around 1am and didn’t throw up again after that. My mom arrived around 1:45am, and then I got in the bath to see if that would help slow down the contractions. They weren’t really hurting, but they did feel more uncomfortable than my usual braxton hicks. Still, I assumed it was from dehydration and exhaustion, and at 2am I took a phenergan and laid down to try to sleep. By the way, if you’ve never taken that before… It will knock you on your ass. I should have known better.
Just as I was drifting into sleep, in that still semi-conscious but semi-dreaming state, I felt a small gush. It was 2:30am. I got up to go to the bathroom to check, and felt liquid stream down my legs. I thought “***, of course, my water just broke” but when I got to the bathroom, I realized it was blood. Quite a bit of it. I sat down on the toilet and felt something drop out of me and plop into the water with more blood. I couldn’t see what it was but I figured it was my mucus plug (still not sure about this). A little spotting at the start of labor is normal, but this much blood was concerning. So I came out into the bedroom and woke Aaron up, telling him that we needed to get to the hospital STAT. I was too groggy and panicked to think clearly and was ready to grab our bags and run out the door half naked, but thankfully Aaron grabbed some clothes and helped me get dressed. I think he also said something along the lines of, “Figures, we knew this would start at 2:30 in the morning.” We’d been begging Jude to try to come at a more convenient time of day, haha.
I cannot say enough how grateful I was in this moment (and still am) that my mom had been willing to drive to our house in the middle of the night to stay with us. If we’d had to wake and pack up Wren during all of this drama, it would have really been so much more stressful and complicated. We were out the door and on our way to the hospital within maybe 7 minutes, and our little birdy was still snoozing peacefully at home with her Abi.
We got to the hospital a little before 3am and went to the emergency room entrance. On the car ride, I’d felt Jude moving and kicking, so I was slightly less worried, but still feeling urgently that we needed to get to the L&D unit and check on our little man. The check-in nurse was asking me a bunch of questions about my birthday? insurance? I’m honestly not even sure. I was so frustrated that they were asking me these stupid questions when I was clearly needing to get up to the doc! I obviously realize that they needed to get me checked into the system, but in that moment it seemed utterly ridiculous. I think I ended up saying “Um, I’m gushing blood, can this not wait until we check on my baby?” So, they let another nurse wheel me up to L&D while Aaron stayed behind to finish answering the questions. They got me into a room and undressed quickly and my midwife was already there and waiting. I’d started having painful contractions in the car and they were coming every 3-4 minutes. The nurses got me on the monitors and we were able to hear Jude’s heart beating perfectly, so I was finally able to relax a little bit. The midwife checked me and I was 7cm dilated and 100% effaced, and she said that the bleeding was likely from such quick cervical change (I’d been 3cm and 50% effaced for the previous 2 weeks). They also wanted to keep me on the monitors to make sure I didn’t have any signs of a placental abruption, as that can also cause such bleeding.
At this point, Aaron had made it up to L&D and they moved us into a nicer room and got me all situated. I asked for IV fluids and juice in hopes that it would help me feel a little bit better and somehow muster the energy to make it through labor. My hospital bracelet said 3:30am was my check-in time. Aaron was such a champ, supporting me 100% through every contraction, while still having to run to the bathroom to puke every so often. He rubbed my back and applied counter pressure, reminding me to relax my body and not fight against the contractions (I’d specifically asked him to remind me of this). The next 1.5 hours were honestly what I’d always hoped labor would be like. I labored in the bathtub for a little while, which was amazing, and then on the yoga ball and in a variety of other positions. The nurses and midwife were barely around and just let us do our thing. As awful of a start as we’d had, and as exhausted and depleted as we both felt, to me, it was such a special time. We’d work through the contractions together and then kind of just hang out and chat or joke in between. He knew exactly what I needed & I think I somehow grew to love him even more.
Around probably 5am -ish, the contractions were getting incredibly painful. I was definitely in transition and feeling that doubt and fear in full force. The contractions were ripping through me and I was SO exhausted. The midwife checked me and said I was a “stretchy” 8cm and she was pretty sure that if she broke my water, he would be born shortly after. I’d been adamant throughout the pregnancy that I did NOT want my water broken, so I refused, but after a few more contractions, we decided to trust her judgment and let her go ahead.
Shortly after, I started to feel “pushy”. I didn’t even really realize it at the time, but my body just kind of started doing it’s own thing. I was laboring standing up, leaning forward onto the bed. I heard the midwife say to a nurse, “I think she’ll want to deliver standing” and the next thing i know, the floor of the room is covered in blue pads and there are a bunch of pillows under and between my legs. I pushed that way for a few contractions but felt like I just couldn’t get enough power or control that way, so I switched to the “standard” pushing position: sitting up on the bed and pulling behind my knees. This is how I delivered Wren and it just felt the best to me. I pushed when, how often, and for how long felt right to me. It was amazing how they just let me and my body lead this process. It was SO much better for me than directed pushing.
After probably 5-6 more contractions of pushing, I knew Jude was finally crowning. As his head started to come out, the midwife suggested I stop pushing and breathe and allow his head to be born slowly. This was honestly probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. The desire to get that babies head out as quickly as possible is STRONG, but I somehow followed her direction and allowed his head to come slowly, on it’s own. Aaron had his phone out, taking pictures and video, and the midwife yelled at him to “put that down! Don’t you want to catch your baby?!” So, of course, he dropped his phone and on the next contraction, caught Jude’s body as he finally came fully earth side at 5:47am. Truly amazing.
They laid Jude on me for skin-to-skin and I immediately noticed how distinctly boyish I thought he looked. Then, they gave me a bag of pitocin and 8 cytotec pills. Due to my previous hemorrhage, they wanted to be extra cautious, which I fully supported. He was pretty chill, right off the bat. One of the nurses was wanting him to cry more to clear his lungs, but he was just fine and healthy as could be!
Then, it was time for the placenta to be delivered. This is the part I was so worried about, after my previous uterine inversion. The midwife didn’t even touch the umbilical cord and just let me deliver it on my own, and all was well. Thank goodness! She did note that part of the placenta looked “bubbled up” and determined that I most likely did have a partial placental abruption from vomiting so hard. She sent the placenta to the lab for testing, so hopefully I’ll learn more about this at my follow up in a few weeks. She proceeded to check me for tearing and much to my surprise and amazement, I had NONE!! I guess allowing his head to be born slowly really paid off. After that, they cleaned up & we were left to get to know our new little man.
Recovery has been unimaginably better this time around. After Wrens birth, I was stuck in a hospital room with no windows for 3 days, with a catheter, unable to even sit upright, much less get up and shower or walk around. Due to the blood loss, it took months before I felt that I had any strength back. I was so lethargic and could barely do much of anything without feeling exhausted and starting to bleed heavily. I was in such a fog and think this hugely contributed to the postpartum depression and anxiety I felt.
This time, I was up and showering on my own within an hour. I was able to hop up and greet guests as they came to visit, go with Jude to his first bath (I missed Wren’s because I couldn’t leave the bed), and walk myself out of the hospital. It was magical. Being able to move around and take care of myself and the babies has made the biggest difference in the world. The hardest thing about this recovery has been remembering that I still need to take it easy for a little while, even though I am feeling great. The transition to becoming a family of 4 has been pretty seamless, thanks to an awesome support system. We’ve also been incredibly fortunate that Aaron’s schedule is flexible and allows him to be home so much. Wren loves to hug and pat her little brother and give him big cheesy smiles. These 2 seriously melt me and I can’t wait to watch their relationship blossom as they grow up together.
So, that is the story of how Jude joined our little family! I am so thankful for a positive birthing experience, and most importantly, a healthy, sweet baby boy!
Me: 28, DH: 34, Married since June 2012
Wren Marí | November 18, 2015!
22 cycles, injectables & IUI
Jude Patrick | December 31, 2016
3rd cycle NTNP while EBF
See bio for details. =)
www.bothsidesofthebed.com <-blog! New post- Jude's Birth Story!
Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing! He is so cute and wide-eyed in that last picture!
DH: 34 Me: 30
History of endometriosis
TTC #1 since Aug. 2016
Love this! Thanks for sharing! It sounds like we had very similar first and second birth stories including the PPH with my first and awful recovery (MONTHS of white lips and nail beds and feeling so, so tired!) and a much, much better recovery the second time around when they did proactive management of the 3rd stage! I'm hoping for a similar outcome with baby 3!
wifey 34 hubby 36
Baby D August 2013
Baby A March 2015
Baby G February 2017
Loved reading this story, so awesome - congratulations, he is ADORABLE!
Oh man, that's so horrible about your stomach bug. That seriously sounds like my worst nightmare.
Your birth brought back a lot of memories of my own too! I labored in the tub and then ended up pushing both babies out in the "standard" position, sort of laying on my back, which felt weird because I had learned in the Bradley classes that that wasn't actually the most ideal way. Oh well, it worked!Congrats again, I hope everything will be a smooth and happy transition!
Me: 30 - DH: 30 Married 2008
Began Charting September 2012.
A.B. born naturally July 29th, 2013
O.C. born naturally September 1st, 2015
due September 11th, 2017!
Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow.
Sorry about the pre-labor illness, but it sounds like everything else came out well! Congratulations!
Me and my Partner in Crime together since July 2004
Big Bro born November 2013
Little Bro born May 2016
Thank you all!! We are totally in love.
kbella- I hope #3 is a smooth delivery for you, as well!
He is too cute! Thank you for sharing his birth story.
Me: 35 DH: 33
TTC #1 since February 2015
Diagnosis: ovulation disorder, pelvic adhesions, tubal dysfunction: 4 medicated cycles with femara + FSH injections (2 timed intercourse and 2 IUI) - all BFN. We are done with treatments now (Nov 2016). Trying naturally for a bit while exploring other paths to parenthood.
Natural BFP 12/17/16! Ectopic Loss 5w5d on 12/26/16
Feb 2017: Starting IVF Cycle: Antagonist Protocol with 375IU Gonal F and 75IU Menopur, Added Ganirelix day 6. Stimmed for 9 days total. 24 eggs retrieved, 17 mature, 14 fertlized, 10 made it to blast and were frozen! Transfer in April\
I just love this story...it starts rough, but ends so beautifully. I was always so in my own head during labor, and they went so fast, that I didn't ever get to have that connection with my husband. So that's just lovely :)
Enjoy your new little one! He's gorgeous!
Me (39) DH (41) =
#1 - January 2009
#2 - May 2102
December 26, 2010 @ 7 weeks
Wow, Cliff, what a crazy start to Jude's birth! I thought going into labor the day after moving was rough but in this really sounds like it was no fun! So, so glad that you had a smooth labor in the end and no problems with the placenta. Congratulations on your new little one. He is adorable!
Off HBC 1/2014
TTA while exclusively breastfeeding
My charts (sorry - I chart on paper, mainly, so these charts are hardly ever up to date)
Congratulations!! He's a cutie!!
Wow, cliff! What an eventful arrival! Thanks for sharing your story, it was fun to read. It sounds like you were a total rock star! I can't imagine being so sick AND dealing with labor. You're my hero! I'm so glad that it all went well in the end. Congratulations, mama! He is perfection <3 (And Jude was our top boy name if Violet had been a boy! Love it)
DH (28) Me (24) Married since 1/1/11. Currently NTNP while breastfeeding.
TTC from November 2012 - June 2015. After more than 2.5 years, numerous medicated cycles, and 4 IUIs...
Violet -- Born at home on 3/17/16
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. -Romans 12:12
Thank you so much! I love getting to come here and share. I LOVE reading these stories.
Lava- my first labor was like that. I felt really out of control for most of that one, even though it was a bit longer (6 hours total for dd), and I totally turned inwards. My husband later told me that I never looked at him the whole time. I had my eyes closed or was staring at the ceiling. It was so nice to have this experience this time around!
Cliff congratulations! Jude is beautiful!!! I am so so so thankful you had a better birth experience this time around - I can only hope for the same if we fall pregnant again! Welcome to the December baby club :)
Me (31) DH (34) ~ Married August 2008 + 3 fur babies
+ ID Twin DSs ~ December 23, 2015 (BFP May 2015 after 14 cycles TTC)
(TTC #3 - February 2017)
**See my bio for more information**
Thank you Weim!! I hope the same for your next little as well!! ❤️
Congratulations!! Beautiful story and what a handsome baby boy!
Me(Marie): 28 & DH: 27 married 7 years
Started charting 2010 after stopping HBC.
Currently dealing with Hashimoto's, possible 'weak' ovulation, AI issues, but overall unexplained infertility/RPL
My charts: http://www.ovusoft.com/members/SoccerGirl/charts/default.aspx
DS born Sept 2013 (BFP after 18 months TTC on 3rd month Clomid 50mg CD5-9)
TTC#2 Sept 2014 5w Dec 2014 11w July 2015 10w March 2016
Thank you! :) <3