Our sweet son, Jude Alexander Foote, was born on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 7:15 pm. He weighed in at a whopping 4 lbs 11 oz and he was 17.25 inches long. He was born at 33 weeks 6 days and about 19 hours (close enough that I'm going to say I made it to 34 weeks.)
It is now Wednesday, May 4, 2016 and the past week has been a crazy whirlwind that I definitely want recorded while all the details are still fresh. This pregnancy has been so difficult from the very beginning. After the cerclage was placed and I spent the past 3 months on modified bed rest, I was actually getting hopeful that I might make it to 36 weeks when the cerclage would be taken out.
Last Thursday morning (April 28) I woke up feeling a little funny. I wasn't in a ton of pain or having obvious contractions, but I felt a little bit off. I took the girls to get an oil change in the car and then to library story time and lunch with friends. We got home around 12:30 and I told Steven how I had been feeling. He told me to call the OB because I have a history of not going in until things are too late. So, I called the OB and they told me to go to labor and delivery. I told Steven that everything was probably fine and that I'll call him when I knew more. I drove myself to Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem, Utah and got there around 1:30 pm. They hooked me up to the monitors which showed that I was having contractions. Dang.
My MFM team that put in the cerclage came in and did an ultrasound that showed my cerclage was still holding my cervix closed even though I was actively contracting. Because of my history they decided to admit me, gave me the first round of steroid shots, some shots to try and stop my contractions, and other medicine to do the same.
By Thursday night, I was pretty scared because I could feel the contractions, they were not stopping and I was terrified to deliver even earlier than I had with the girls. I just kept praying that I would make it to 34 weeks. The next three days were horrible. Steven was mostly with the girls trying to keep things working on the home front, and so I was alone in the hospital. I was constantly contracting day and night. They gave me some more shots to stop the contractions, I got the second steroid shot, and I was constantly on Procardia but nothing seemed to be stopping the contractions. However, every time they checked my cerclage was still holding on. So for three days, I was in so much pain just waiting and wondering how far I could make it. Those three days felt like forever.
By Sunday, the contractions were getting pretty intense. My very nice nurse came in around 1:30 Sunday afternoon and gave me a shot of morphine so I could sleep and get some relief from the constant pain since they had not really given me anything else, and I had barely slept in over three days. I woke up at 4:30 to blood and told Steven he better come because that was not good. I was really scared of my cerclage ripping through my cervix. They came in and decided to hook me up to a magnesium drip as a last ditch effort to buy some more time. Within about 30 minutes of that my water broke with the cerclage still in, and I was rushed to an emergency c-section.
The whole time I was pregnant with Jude, I was so worried about having a c-section. I did not want the horrible recovery a c-section brings at all. Jude had been breech for so long, but I thought that he would flip. However, by the time it came to deliver he was breech and so c-section it was. They rushed me in, took out the cerclage before it ripped, and Jude was born at 7:15 pm. He came out crying, and breathing on his own with Aapgar scores of 8 and 9. The critical time for delivery is to make it 48 hours after the second steroid shot. My body held on for 51 hours, just long enough.
We love our little Jude and he (along with the girls) are truly little miracles. My pregnancies have been very difficult, they were all born premature, and that has come with a lot of guilt and questions. I saw so many doctors and tried so many things, yet my babies always came early.
While I was having my c-section, the doctors discovered that I only have half of a uterus. It is an extremely rare birth defect called Unicornuate uterus and by all accounts I should not have any children. Most women with the defect take years to get pregnant, or they lose many babies. Getting pregnant was never that difficult for us, I never had any miscarriages, and even though my babies came early, they made it far enough to lead healthy, normal lives.
Jude (and Aubrey and Cora) just ran out of room! Poor Jude, especially. He was stuck breech with no room to turn for months. His legs are all bruised and it took him a while to relax into a normal position. I'm so grateful that he is here and safe. He just needs a little more time to grow and get stronger and then we will be able to take him home.
This week has been emotional and full of gratitude as I reflect on motherhood and the plan that Heavenly Father has for each of our lives. I have three miracle children. I'm grateful and blessed. I know the NICU weeks we have ahead of us will not be easy, but soon Jude will be home and our little family of five will be complete.