Our Jude

April 14, 2015, my motherhood trajectory took a turn I never imagined it to take. My second son, Julian aka Jude, was born after a rollercoaster start to finish. It was a ride I will never forget (largely because I wasn't delirious and exhausted like with Daniel after laboring for 24 hours). At 4 am, I felt (and swear I heard) a pop as I dilated just enough to lose my plug (sorry if that visual grosses you out!), but it wasn't until about 10 am where the contractions actually made me stop what I was doing and breath through them. I labored at home for the most part, wanting to get things done before my mom got here to watch Daniel. She got here around 3 pm, and shortly after 4 pm Gary and I were on the road; heavy Southern California commute traffic all around us, as Gary finally drove like the Californian I knew he could be, all the while I couldn't stress enough to him that I don't want to be the hero this time, give me that epidural!

So imagine my surprise that after a mere 7 hours of contractions, my initial nurse told me I was already dilated to 7 cm! I was both relieved and nervous as hell; baby boy would be here a whole lot sooner than any of us anticipated! I did, however, basically miss the window of opportunity for an epidural because of my insistence on staying home (but looking back on this, I'm really relieved).

I continued to labor as I had been, sitting up, swaying and leaning into each contraction with heavy concentration on my breathing, when my nurse noticed Jude's heart rate drop slightly. That with the fact that he was still quite high in my pelvis, it was time to try a different position. I hadn't laid down at all save a quick power nap between contractions at home very early in the day because of a underlying fear that lying down will slow things, since I was lying down nearly the entire time with Daniel. Laying down was hell for me the first time around during transition and the same was true for Jude. I think my OB could sense that I was very, very close to delivering but still had not actually broken my amniotic sac, so she asked if it were ok to do so. In my very-over-it state, I said yes; in my back-to-back contractions state, it was a decision I immediately regretted. But after she did so, he was born in about 10 minutes - 8:07 pm, to be exact. I pushed 4 times before they placed his warm, wet body with head full of hair screaming into this world and didn't stop, he was here and he wanted everyone to know it! He latched on to breast feed shortly there after like a champ and I was there in a new mom haze, completely engulfed in love.

A love I constantly questioned how I was supposed to have for 2 children during my pregnancy... it took some serious convincing on Gary's part for me to considering baby number 2. Is it strange that I couldn't imagine loving another baby? What, was I supposed to split the love I have up? Does the left half of my heart love Daniel, while the right half loves this new addition? I couldn't wrap my head around it. Until it happened. And when I saw his ultrasounds, felt his movements and finally, gave birth. It was then I understood. Nothing splits, nothing changes. It's like expansion, I suppose. That's the first thing my sweet little Jude taught me: don't fear more love mama, embrace it.

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