Preface: this has a lot of details that I never want to forget. I won’t feel bad if you skim it or just look at the pictures.
When I was 19 weeks along with Jude, we found out that I had placenta previa. My grad school self went into research mode and I found a study in a peer-reviewed journal that figured that ~80% of cases of previa resolve themselves before delivery. But weeks and weeks went by, and my complete previa hadn’t resolved. Therefore, the best way to have a safe delivery was by cesarean. I was able to make it to my scheduled delivery date without complications (thank you, God!).
I woke up super early feeling so giddy. It was finally the day I was going to meet my second baby. We didn’t find out gender, so it was also the day we would find out whether Brooks would have a sister or a brother.
Since we didn’t have to be at the hospital until 10am, we went for a beautiful walk to enjoy our last few hours with Brooks as an only child.
Once we got checked in to the hospital, I almost immediately turned on the playlist I made for the day. I chose my most favorite relaxing worship music to keep me calm and focused on my (and Jude’s) Creator and Lord.
One of our nurses said, “I’m guessing your having a girl” and we told her that that was our guess (and nearly everyone else’s) as well! We also found out that my midwife Karen, who was supposed to assist, was with her daughter who was in labor. So then a general surgeon, who does annual mission work in Haiti and often gets asked to do cesarean while he is there, assisted so he would feel more comfortable doing them.
Philip got into his scrubs, and it was go time. This man held my hand the entire surgery and anytime I got worried (painful spinal, weird feelings, odd pressure), we locked eyes and I focused back on my praise music and the One who is our peace.
Just 20ish minutes later, I felt pressure on my chest and then the relief of Jude’s delivery. It was the oddest thing. Then Philip said, “It’s a BOYYYYY.” And we were both so shocked and instantly my eyes were full of happy tears.
Someone (maybe Dr. Sandmeier, my OB) said “Hi mom” and showed me Jude’s tiny wrinkled face right after he was born before they took him to the warmer. I wish I had a picture of his face over the drape because I don’t ever want to forget the details. I’ve been trying to engrave it in my brain.
The hospital I delivered at has a camera on the warmer and a video screen, so I was able to watch our baby being checked over. After a little while, Philip said look over here and look at his feet. And I looked over. And I saw those tiny feet. Kicking and straining like only a healthy, strong baby could do. And then all of the worries of the previous 20 weeks dissolved away.
After what felt like ages, but was actually about 10-15 minutes, they brought my sweet baby over and laid him on me. Because I wasn’t expecting a boy and this boy looked sooo different than Brooks, I kept asking Philip, “Who is he? What’s his name?”. We spent the next three hours trying to land on a name.
When my parents brought Brooks up to the hospital, Philip met them in the waiting room and brought Brooks in so he would be the first to meet his baby brother. He was so in love. And so excited. And so sweet. (Still is.)
It was also then that we decided on Jude Solomon. Jude means “praise” and Solomon means “peace” and it was just so fitting. Because during the pregnancy and delivery, whenever I would remember to praise Jesus, I would feel more at peace. And the verse (Philippians 4:6-7) I had so often meditated on in the past year reflected that truth as well.
After Brooks met Jude, Brooks introduced everyone to his baby and revealed the gender and name. I thought it was so special that Brooks could do the reveal to all of our family.
The next day, my midwife Karen came in and said “that’s a Sandmeier” when looking at my incision like an art enthusiast would say “that’s a Picasso”. I guess I’ve got a nice-looking incision…?
Also the next day, Brooks brought one of his favorite books (Groovy Joe: Ice Cream & Dinosaurs) and recited it to Jude. So stinking cute. He melts my heart.
Then the hospital photographer came in and snagged these!