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Jude Lawrence White
7 lbs 7.2 oz
About three weeks before Jude was born Daniel and I met with my OB to select a date for his arrival. Its a very strange thing to pick your child's birthday. However, after the chaos and uncertainty surrounding Finley's pregnancy and birth I was glad to have some "control" over Jude's entrance into the world.
When we met with Dr. Saunders (my practicing OB at Fort Sanders - how's that for confusing!?) we were given some parameters: the c-section had to be performed on a Tuesday or Friday. Given my due date of 11/17 the original options were the 13th or the 16th of November. I was sitting on the exam table and looking at my calendar, without really thinking I said "Okay, the 13th is fine." My only thoughts were the sooner the better. As soon as Dr. Saunders left the room I was immediately regretting my decision. First of all it was a Tuesday, how was that going to work when all of our family would be coming from out of town? Second of all, I dislike the number 13, irrational but true.
Daniel could tell I was uneasy with the decision right away and kept asking if I was sure that day was THE DAY. It wasn't. But I also knew I didn't want to wait til the 16th to meet him; the longer he was in there the more anxious I would become.
As we walked out of the office we ran into Dr. Saunders charting in the hallway. Uncharacteristically of me and with much prompting from a concerned Daniel I stopped and asked her about changing the date. I asked her if the 9th was even a possibility. It was the Friday before I would turn 39 weeks pregnant. With a smile on her face and a quick flip through my chart Dr. Saunders made the date official and put my heart at ease.
You would think with the date written in ink that would be that, but over the next three weeks of waiting I wasn't sure if I would even make it to our c-section. Jude was hanging out really low in my pelvis, fully engaged, and I was having contractions every single day. When we finally made it to November 9th Jude showed us the first glimpse of his personality; he was just fine with waiting.
We woke up on Friday morning totally sleep deprived. I mean, how can one possibly fall asleep knowing that the next day they'd meet the child they've been praying for? Impossible. My stomach was in knots, my mind was racing, but my heart was ready for the healing and ready for the peace.
We loaded up the car at 9:00, said a prayer, put Eli in Nana and Grandpa's car, and hit the road.
At around 10:00 I began to be prepped for my surgery in room 7. God was definitely at work with who he put in my life on that day. My prep nurse was a talker, gentle and kind; someone I very much needed to keep anxiety at bay. My anesthesiologist was the jokester, a big personality and an entertainer. When she talked me through the procedure, she made it seem like a breeze. My surgical nurse had the personality of an overprotective mama bear; she made me feel safe. And Dr. Saunders. She was exactly the OB I needed; confident, endearing, easy to talk to. She felt like an old friend after only weeks of getting to know each other. God's hand was at work that day, there is no doubt about that.
My scheduled time, noon, came and went. It turned out that another mom had started to push right after Dr. Saunders left my room to prep. So we waited. I was able to give Eli a kiss before surgery (although he was more interested in going back to the waiting room to play with Nana) and spend some more time preparing mentally and praying for a surgery that I was terrified of. Sometime during that wait Daniel and I made predictions for Jude's arrival; my guess was 1:57.
At 1:13 my surgical nurse and anesthesiologist came back to get me. It was time! I was wheeled back into the OR where it was freezing cold! The student nurses in there were even wearing their winter coats. It was the first thing I noticed. I sat on the surgical table and received my spinal block, which was a piece of cake compared to the epidural. It took all of 5 seconds for my toes to get numb, then my calves...I was later told that I am extremely sensitive to anesthesia, probably because I am a red head (not even joking). I was numb in about 5 minutes. Daniel can attest to the fact that I do not like being numb. I was a nervous wreck. After about 10 minutes I finally was able to relax, then Dr. Saunders came in.
I can't even express the feelings that you go through when you are minutes away from meeting a miracle. Really; there are no words. All I knew was that I was ready to see his face and hear him cry. I looked at Daniel the whole time they were performing the surgery, waiting and waiting to hear that he was here. After what seemed like forever and after a huge feeling of pressure I heard Dr. Saunders say, "Oh wow, he's a cutie!" It was exactly 1:57. Then came the tears. Daniel stood up to look at him, he told me that he came out just like Eli! His eyes were wide open and looking around, he didn't make a sound until the nurses started to assess him. Hearing his cry was one of the best moments of the day. The moment I was longing for. It was more than I could have hoped for. When the nurses were finished with Jude, Daniel was able to hold him right away and we stared at our perfect baby boy. Thank you Lord! At 1:57, from room 7, came our 7lb 7 oz beautiful baby boy! He arrived to the song "Home" by Phillip Phillips!
It turned out that right after Jude was born Eli fell asleep, not quite a surprise after spending the morning running his grandparents ragged. It wasn't until after dinner that Eli was able to meet Jude. It was perfect. I was holding Jude in my arms, sitting in the hospital bed, and Eli came in with his "Hi, mom!". Daniel asked him if he was ready to meet his baby brother and he responded with "Okay, yeah!". Daniel sat him on the bed next to me and Eli's first words were "I'll hold it!" He loved his brother from the moment he saw him. With every noise Jude made Eli would smile and say something like, "Ohhhh did you hear it mom? It's baby brudder!! So cute!" By the time we had left the hospital Jude was serenaded a dozen times and given a thousand sweet kisses from his brother.
The song that kept playing through my mind after Jude's birth was "Be Still My Soul":
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
And what a joyful end to a chapter it is. Thank you, faithful Lord, for Jude.