For the first part of Jude’s story, click here.
I left off in Part 1 with how my discouragement was starting to grow. I mentioned that I had to fight the thoughts that were making their way into my mind, thoughts like “I can’t do this”, “This is never going to end”, and “If I transferred to the hospital now, I could have a c-section and just be done.” I knew that I was just weary and that I needed to take those thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), but I was honestly struggling. I am guessing it was around 9:15am or so at this point. I was praying off and on and knew that others were praying for me. It was at this point that Will posted on Facebook that I was getting tired and needed prayer. My mom had also sent out a request for prayer via email and the staff of the Yahweh Center had stopped during praise and worship at the weekly staff meeting to pray for us. Prayer was going to be critical in the next hour or so.
God knew I needed encouragement, and He used my midwife at that moment to give it to me. She looked at me and quoted the first half of Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things…” and I finished it with …through Him who strengthens me.” This was significant as it was the verse my mother had quoted to me ever since I was a little girl- my midwife didn’t know that. I know this was one of the ways God let me know more directly that He was there with me.
My midwife asked me if there was anything going on mentally that I needed to discuss- I didn’t mention my thoughts of c-section at that point because I knew I didn’t really, truly want that, but I did share that I was just tired. And afraid I wasn’t going to have the energy to do what I needed to do if (when) we were finally ready to push.I remember getting super antsy as I fought my own thoughts there in that pool. I decided then that I could no longer try to rest. I needed to DO something and I had the feeling that it was time to get out and have my baby. I got out, started walking around, and felt a renewed sense of purpose.
Up until this point, my water hadn’t broken. Like with my first two, we ended up breaking it to move things along (apparently my bag of waters is always super strong). After my midwife broke my water, as with Asher’s birth although not quite as immediate and obvious, Jude was well on his way in descent and I was ready to push not too long afterward. With Will behind me on the bed to help be my strength, we began to push.
My midwife worked with me to help me avoid tearing, and I could feel Jude trying to help by turning a bit as he began to crown. But something wasn’t quite right. He tried again to help as I pushed but still wasn’t fully coming out, even though they could see his head. They continued to track his heartbeat with the doppler as they had throughout the entire labor, and at this last check, the results weren’t good.
It is here that things began to happen super quickly. My midwife had me turn over onto my hands and knees and I could hear the urgency in her voice as she told me to PUSH. Then, he was out.
I felt that familiar feeling of relief as he emerged and turned, ready to hold him. But he wasn’t breathing. He was grayish and floppy.
At this point, I’m not sure of anything other than seeing my midwife calmly and determinedly start applying oxygen while instructing me to pray and asking Will to call 911 in case they were needed. I rubbed Jude’s chest as I prayed, asking the Lord to get my baby breathing. I looked at Will’s face and could see the utter look of fear as he called 911 and looked at his baby. I almost felt like I went on autopilot- it was scary, but somehow I felt that Jude was going to be fine.
Two minutes later, a very long two minutes in many ways while fast in others, Jude turned pink, started breathing on his own, and let out a beautiful, piercing cry that lasted awhile as he made up for lost time. The EMTs arrived and I was thankful beyond words that they were not needed other than having me sign a form that we didn’t need transport to the hospital. His first apgar at 1 minute after birth came in at a 3. His second, five minutes after his birth, was a 9.
Still attached to me because we had not clamped and cut the cord yet, I delivered the placenta while helping Jude to begin nursing. Will then cut the cord once it had stopped pulsing and all we could do was praise God that He had been the one to truly deliver our praise baby. Jude means praise. Our prayer all through the pregnancy had been that his birth would be a praise and a testimony to all those involved. In talking (processing) with our midwife immediately afterward and on follow-up visits in the next couple of weeks, it was evident that God honored that prayer. Jude is certainly our praise, and I am incredibly thankful that he is here with us.
After the birth, we learned that there had been a combination of factors going on. Shoulder dystocia, where the baby’s shoulder is not able to pass below the pubic bone, was a major factor that caused his distress and the drop in heart tones, also affecting his breathing once out. His cord was also caught by the shoulder. It appeared in examining the placenta that it had started to separate from the uterus, and the umbilical cord, instead of developing from the center of the placenta, had developed from the side. Praise again that given all those factors, Jude is here lying in my lap making that sweet little sound with his lips that he is making.
We’ve been asked since his birth if we wish we had been in a hospital given the circumstances of his birth. Our answer is a resounding “NO!” If we had been in a hospital, the following scenarios would have been likely: 1) when my cervical lip came back, it is possible I would have been dubbed with the infamous failure to progress label and a c-section would have been pushed/recommended. 2) When Jude was born and not breathing, the cord would have been clamped and cut immediately and he would have been whisked away to the NICU, or at least, away from me and his father.
I am thankful for my midwife’s wisdom (and it is part of her usual practice anyway) of waiting until the cord stops pulsing before it is cut. This allowed Jude to continue to receive the life-giving blood he was receiving as she applied oxygen. He was able to hear my voice and feel my touch as he lay there. She had what she needed to get him breathing- we didn’t need a hospital room for that. The Lord used her mightily in that moment, and He heard our prayers.
We said from the beginning that doing a homebirth was a huge faith walk for us. Little did we know how much of one it would be. Of course, birth is always a faith walk really, wherever you choose to have your baby and however he or she arrives in your arms.
Jude Christian Adair was born at 10:37am, 8 lbs and 3.5 ounces. 21 inches long. God is so very faithful- we have our praise baby to attest to that. And we give Him all the glory.