Jude Allen Doxey: A Birth Story

A special thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Doxey for watching Eden and to Valeri for taking photos of Jude's birth! And to all of our amazing friends and neighbors who extended a hand to help us with meals and other things as we came home with Jude. 

There are very few moments in my life that are so surreal they almost feel like an out of body experience as I look back on them. They are moments that you wait for your entire life and so for them to actually come to pass, for the moment to have finally arrived, it just doesn't seem real. I have had 4 of those moments in my life...fulfilling a mission in Italy, marrying my best friend, and the birth of my two kids. Graduating high school and college were definitely great moments as well, but nothing compares to those 4 moments, nothing. So, even though, it seems impossible that the day of Jude's birth has come and gone, it has. He is here, my little, precious baby boy. 

Dear Jude,

At my 37 week appointment if your tummy was still measuring around the 10th percentile, they were planning on inducing me. At the appointment, however, your tummy measured in the 71st percentile, so they said you could stick around in my tummy for a while longer. They also discovered that the umbilical cord was around your neck on the ultrasound, so they continued to have me come in for non-stress tests to make sure you were doing okay. They said it was pretty common for babies to have the cord around their neck, but they just wanted to take extra precautions. Then at my 38 week appointment they encouraged me to go ahead and get induced at 39 weeks. They said I would be an easy induction since I was dilated to a 3 already and my cervix was soft.  They said if they were worried enough to keep checking up on things, it may be best to just get you out.

So the date was set for Tuesday June 14, 2016. We didn’t know what time we needed to arrive to the induction until Monday night. I had decided to take your big sister to see The Little Mermaid musical at the Scera Theater because it was really the last chance to take her before your arrival. Daddy didn’t come because, unfortunately he had been sick and was trying to get over it before your arrival. That night at the musical I finally got the call that we needed to be at the hospital at 6:30 am! That was a lot earlier than expected. There I was at a musical that didn’t end till 10:30 pm and I needed to get home, finish packing and be up showered (cause I knew it would be a few days till I got to take a shower again) and to the hospital by 6:30 am.

We were up by 5 and getting ready to go/loading up the car. We dropped your sister off at grandma and grandpa Doxey’s house and I scarfed down a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before we got there and they wouldn’t let me eat anything. I did make sure to bring some hard candies and Gatorade so I could have something while in labor. With your sister all I had was flavored ice chips and I was starving!

We arrived at the hospital and were brought to our room…the same exact room our friends Kevin and Jyrl had delivered their baby boy just 5 months earlier! We met our nurse Kacy, who was AWESOME! I was determined to try going natural this time, without an epidural. I was also hoping to bypass the pitocin by having them break my water first to see if my body would progress fast enough on its own.  Doctor (John) McCarter came in at 7:30am and broke my water and I was already dilated to a 3.  Your daddy got our room set up with some things to comfort me during the labor process. He got my labor playlist going on our jambox (which consisted of some piano medleys, Enya, and of course Hey Jude by the Beattles) and he got the diffuser going with some citrus oils (Red Mandarin, Pink Grapefruit, and Lemon --- I know lavender is supposed to be relaxing, but has never been my favorite scent).

By 10am I had only progressed to a 4 and Kacy wanted to start the pitocin drip. She said she would do a very small amount (4 milliunits/min) to see if that’d do the trick. She also pulled out a yoga ball for me to try sitting on to see how my contractions did on that. It was actually quite a bit more comfortable for me to sit on a yoga ball or to stand up than to sit in bed and definitely less painful that lying down. While on the yoga ball, in between the contractions, I was starving and wanted chocolate chip cookies, haha, and then for the duration of each contraction I lost my appetite completely. Obviously, I couldn’t eat cookies (although I got some delicious ones from the cafeteria afterwards) so I settled for an orange popsicle that daddy fed me in between contractions. Each contraction hurt my tummy a lot, but also felt like I was working out my lower back muscles and eventually I felt like my back was going to give out during contractions, but I just leaned over the side of the bed to help.

At 11:35 Kacy came in again and said she liked to see at least 4-5 contractions every 10 minutes. I was only contracting 3 times per 10 minutes.  She then checked my cervix, which was at a 6, but my cervix was tilted to the left and back because you were at an angle and your little head was pushing it that way. She said we needed to get more contractions going to get my uterus to push you down into the right position, so she upped the pitocin to 6 milliunits/min. I decided to get off the yoga ball and stand through the contractions because they became very painful as I was sitting.  The entire labor your heart rate was pretty consistent, which didn’t illustrate a baby with a cord around their neck…that was definitely comforting to me.

12:56 Kacy came in again to check my cervix again at it was at a 7/8. She decided to up the pitocin again to 8 milliunits/min. Doctor McCarter came in at 1:54 to check on my progress. They only thing slowing things down was your diagonal position. He told Kacy to have me lie on my side with a peanut ball between my legs to help the contractions push you into a straight position. The contractions were already very painful in the standing position  and I braced myself for the intensity of them while lying down. They were incredibly painful.  I actually started crying during them and I was dry heaving through some of them and actually lost it during one (fortunately that was the only time).I was ready for it to be over and was hoping things would progress quickly. Even though it was so painful, I had no desire (nor the time probably at that point) to get an epidural. I wanted to see what it was like without one and I wanted to feel in control of my body and legs and I wanted to see how the healing process differed without one. I tried to breathe through them, like I had learned in my mediation class and to focus on each contraction as progress rather than pain…although the pain pretty much took over at that point. Then they had me turn onto my other side and finally after a few contractions I was feeling the urge to push.

2:38 Doctor McCarter came back in and they got the room set up quickly for me to push.  Finally, it was time, and with each contraction I would push for 10 seconds, three times…and finally they could see your head! You were almost here. One of the new nurses was getting SO excited as she could start to see you and it definitely helped motivate me to give it my all. 

3:14 you took your first breath. You were here. They said the cord was never seen around your neck, so it came off before or in the process. You weighed 6 lbs 15 oz (just one ounce more than your big sister was at birth!) and you were 19 inches long. After they weighed you and checked your health as you lay under the heater, daddy got to hold you, his son and finally he brought you over to me and I got to hold my sweet baby boy for the first time. I had wondered and wondered what you would look like (you always kept it a mystery on the ultrasounds, but hiding behind the placenta or your arms). You were perfect.  I couldn’t believe that after 2 ½ years or trying to get you here and then almost 40 weeks of pregnancy, you were finally here! Our family was finally a family of 4. After a few snuggles, I couldn’t wait for your sister to get to meet you!

Grandma and grandpa brought her to the hospital, and her face just lit up as she walked in the room and saw you. She asked to hold you, oh I don’t know, at least 6 times while she visited. J We let her hold you over and over and helped her support your little head. 

When you were about 2 hours old, we went down to the nursery to watch your first bath. You were not loving it, until they started washing and scrubbing your hair...then you seemed as if you were at a little baby spa and calmed right down. 

Our awesome nurse Kacy

Thank you sweet boy for choosing to come to our family and bless our lives. We are so grateful for you and the joy you are to us. We are so excited to watch you learn, grow and progress and to better come to know who you are – though we already know you are a divine son of our Father in Heaven and He has great things in store for you. You are His and He has graciously entrusted you to us. We love you, Jude. 

Welcome Home Jude!